Sredojevic warns Orlando Pirates about Green Eagles in Caf Champions League

Sredojevic warns Orlando Pirates about Green Eagles in Caf Champions League

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic has warned his team that they face a “much tougher path” in the Caf Champions League this season.

The continental governing body announced the fixtures for the first round of the preliminary phase in Cairo on Monday, and the Buccaneers have been drawn against Zambian outfit Green Eagles.

The first leg will be played in Zambia on the weekend of 9-11 August, with the return match at Orlando Stadium on 23-25 August.

South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns will take on Republic of Congo club AS Otoho d’Oyo, and Masandawana will also play away in the first leg.

Pirates were knocked out in the group stage last season after finishing third on the log behind leaders Esperance and Horoya FC.

“It will certainly be much tougher than the path we took last year, considering the level of opposition we are about to face,” Sredojevic said on Monday.

“Green Eagles are a high quality side that finished strongly in the Zambian League, and they are also coached by Aggrey Chiyangi, who is the caretaker coach of the Zambian national team. We can expect them to be very strong.

“Starting the tie away from home gives us an opportunity to get our campaign off to a good start, and once that is done, the roads will lead either to Zanzibar or Angola for another tough encounter (in the second-round preliminaries).

“We have, as always, the highest ambitions for Caf, and our preparations, which began early in our pre-season, will continue to the occasion of the Carling Black Label Cup on 27 July (against Kaizer Chiefs).

“We need to show our readiness for the big games by continuing to build on the processes and foundations that we have laid down in our pre-season preparations.”

Pirates concluded their Cape Town pre-season tour last week with a 2-1 win over Stellenbosch FC.