Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates are wary of their oppostion, after acquiring videos featuring games of AC Leopards ahead of Saturday night's opening last-eight match of the Caf Champions League at Orlando Stadium.
Buccaneers coach Roger De Sa said on Monday he had, in conjunction with assistant coach Eric Tinkler, been studying the Congolese champions' videos and found them to be a compact, professional team without noticable weaknesses.
"That is what you expect from any team reaching the last eight stage of Africa's premier club competition," De Sa said.
"They are also a form team, currently sharing the lead in the Congolese championship, as well as holding the league title.
"But, for all this, we've picked up some valuable pointers and getting hold of the videos has been invaluable.
"You know what they say about leopards never changing their spots, and now we know pretty much what to expect, and will plan accordingly."
Pirates returned from Lesotho on Monday where they beat Matlama FC 5-1 in a warm-up encounter, with the form of new signing Lennox Bacela particularly satisfying.
Bacela and a fully-fit Sifiso Myeni, now over a lengthy injury problem, both scored twice as the Buccaneers cruised to a comfortable victory.
"It was a timely workout.
"Whereas South African PSL clubs are now only coming back after a mid-season break, most of the countries in Africa are in mid-season and already in peak condition," De Sa said.
"This constitutes an additional challenge for Pirates, particularly in the next couple matches when we will have to rid ourselves of any rustiness acquired during the break from competition, and make sure we begin our programme with a home victory."
Pirates are placed in what appears the tougher of the two four-team groups left in the top-flight continental club competition, with Egyptian powerhouses Al Ahly and Zamalek completing the section.
The two top teams in each group will proceed to the semi-finals.