Nyatama expects Esperance onslaught

Pirates will face-off with the CAF Champions League defending champions in their fourth round group stage encounter at the Stade El Menzah in Tunis this afternoon (15h00).

READ: Micho accepts Esperance's tactics

Both sides are currently level on five points after three rounds of fixtures played and will be looking to take advantage of their open group which sees Guinean outfit Horoya just one point adrift in third position.

Having faced the Tunisian giants at home last weekend, Nyatama knows all too well what to expect this time around and believes they are adequately prepared for what's to come today.

“We know it’s not going to be an easy game this afternoon, however, we are well prepared for whatever comes our way," Nyatama told the Bucs' official website.

"I am confident that we will do well; we carry the hopes of millions back home, therefore, we need to make sure we put our best foot forward.

“We all know that the North African teams are very tactical. They play [for] the result and not necessarily the occasion. You could clearly see by the way they celebrated after our first game that they wanted a point from that match.

“We expect a completely different game today. Now that they are playing at home, we can expect them to come hard at us – the first 20 to 30 minutes will be crucial.”

READ: We can't afford to lose - Lorch

Esperance have been slapped with a two-match ban on supporters by CAF, due to unruly behaviour during last year's Champions League final home leg against Al Ahly.

This will now be their final match behind closed doors, and the 31-year-old counts this as an advantage as they look to stifle their opponents in their own backyard.

“We are fortunate to be playing them without their supporters. The fans up north are very vocal and they do all they can to give the home team some sort of advantage," he added.

“I know from personal experience that the role of the supporters is quite crucial so for them not to have their 12th man works in our favour, and I think it will assist us in our plan of snatching three crucial points from the defending champions.

“Having said that, we know that despite not having their fans this won’t change their approach because we all know how teams from these parts use certain tactics to influence decisions.

"We got a little taste of this in the match we played at home, but I think we responded well to those tactics which in turn frustrated them. Hopefully, we can do the same today.”

SMS: Get the latest Orlando Pirates news sent to your phone!