Suspension worries for Pirates

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After what has been a poor season by their standards, Pirates find themselves with the opportunity to end the campaign on a high. The Buccaneers play SuperSport United twice - first hosting the Tshwane outfit in the final league match of the season, this Saturday, before facing Stuart Baxter's team in the Nedbank Cup final, a week later up in Polokwane.

A defeat to SuperSport in the league, coupled with a draw or a win for Golden Arrows in their match away to AmaTuks, would result in Eric Tinkler's side finishing outside of the top eight and missing out on next season's MTN8 competition.

Tinkler and his technical staff certainly have plenty to ponder upon.

For this weekend's match against SuperSport in Soweto, the Sea Robbers are without two suspended players - central defender Ayanda Gcaba as well as striker Thamsanqa Gabuza.

On top of that, they have five players, many of them key to the side, sitting on three yellow cards and therefore being one booking away from missing the Nedbank Cup final.

The five include on-form striker Luvuyo Memela, number one goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo, the ever-influential Thabo Matlaba, as well as first team regulars Rooi Mahamutsa and Thandani Ntshumayelo. SuperSport have no suspensions for the league match and only have three players, all of them defenders, in Grant Kekana, Luvo Mpeta and Thabo September, currently on three yellow cards. Also, noteworthy is the absence of Maritzburg United captain Kurt Lentjie's for his side's game at Cosmos, a match the KZN club must win to escape the relegation zone.

In total, there are nine players and two coaches suspended for this weekend's final round of Absa Premiership action, which takes place on Saturday, 21 May, all games kicking off at 3pm.

Ajax Cape Town coach Roger De Sa and Free State Stars mentor Giovanni Solinas are also on the suspension list.

Suspension list: Ajax Cape Town: Abbubaker Mobara, coach - Roger De Sa Bloemfontein Celtic: Bulelani Ndengane Free State Stars: Angelo Kerspuy, coach - Giovanni Solinas Jomo Cosmos: Frederic Nsabiyumva, Sibusiso Kumalo Maritzburg United: Kurt Lentjies Orlando Pirates: Ayanda Gcaba, Thamsanqa Gabuza Polokwane City: Edgar Manaka - African News Agency (ANA)

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