However, Pirates will face a confident Usuthu side which defeated Manchester City in pre-season and has brought in some talented players during the transfer window.
Committed to playing entertaining football, AmaZulu have included some experienced players in their squad, such as Letladi Madubanya and Aubrey Mathibe.
Madubanya believes that his new team is prepared to challenge strong outfits like Pirates this season and is relishing the chance to play against the Buccaneers.
“Every game is important to win but more especially the first game of the season, away from home and against one of the so-called big teams,” he told AmaZulu’s official website.
“I think we’re in a good place after the work we’ve put in during the past few weeks and we’ll really see how far we’ve come when we play the first competitive match.
“It’s not going to be an easy game, Pirates have already played some high tempo games in the Champions League and they have a strong team but we’ll go out there and try to match them man for man.
“I think we’re going to be competitive this season, we’re not here to make up the numbers in the league and all the other competitions.”
AmaZulu will be without Carlington Nyadombo and Philani Cele for the clash as both players have been suspended.
Pirates will be battling fatigue after travelling to Egypt for their Caf Champions League match against Al Ahly, but should be confident following their 3-0 win at the El Gouna Stadium.
Captain Lucky Lekghwati has called on his side to shift their focus onto AmaZulu, a team which he believes is far more potent than last season.
“AmaZulu is a different team – they will come at us convinced that they can get a result from us but we will have to be well prepared for them,” Lekgwati told Pirates official website.
“They have players that were previously with us and as they return to Orlando, they will be motivated to help their new team beat us. The win in Egypt is now water under the bridge.
“We have another serious match which must be approached with respect and seriousness,” said Lekgwathi.
With an MTN 8 clash against SuperSport United on Sunday, Roger de Sa may juggle his resources on Thursday night.