Orlando Pirates are set to square off against Moroccan outfit RS Berkane when they do battle for the CAF Confederation Cup trophy at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Friday evening.
The Buccaneers made their way into the final after they secured a 2-1 aggregate victory over Al Ahli Tripoli in their two-legged semi-final fixture, despite losing the return leg by 1-0 this past weekend.
Meanwhile, RS Berkane overturned a 1-0 deficit against TP Mazembe to secure a dramatic 4-1 comeback victory in the return leg to conclude their semi-final fixtures with a 4-2 aggregate win over the Congolese outfit.
However, Pirates and RS Berkane will be relishing the chance to secure their second piece of silverware in continental competitions.
Orlando Pirates coach Fadlu Davids says: “Very strangely, looking into the analysis, there was always a red card against the opposition when Berkane played [three of their last five Confed Cup games saw the team they played against get a red card].
“They’re quite an emotional team…experienced team. You take their midfielders [Larbi] Naji, [Bakr El] Helali and [Hamza] Regragui, quite experienced three.
“I am not talking about their defence line [Ismael] Mokadem and [Issoufou] Dayo, they put a lot of pressure on the ref and they rile up the emotions of the crowd and of the situation especially when they’re at home, putting a lot of pressure on the referee.
“So, we’ve to be calm in relation to our thinking. We must not allow them to drag us into these scuffles and emotional moments… there are red cards and yellow cards.
“It’s more mental game than physical, tactical and technical. How we’re able to control our emotions in this final will help us a big amount in relation to us lifting the trophy.”
The CAF Confederation Cup final will be the first-ever meeting between Orlando Pirates and RS Berkane in the continental competition.
Mandla Ncikazi is expected to have a fully fit squad for the match with no injuries or suspensions, while Florent Ibengé will only have one player out through suspension in the form of midfielder Sofian El Moudane.
Kwame Peprah will be looking to continue his form and will play a crucial role in helping Pirates in attack as he looks to add to the two he already score in the competition.
RS Berkane will be hoping their top goal scorer in the competition, Youssef El Fahli can guide the team to glory, having already scored five goals in this edition of the competition.
Orlando Pirates Form:
RS Berkane Form: