Tshwane Derby Sure To Produce Fireworks18/Aug/2017 12:48
It is therefore apt that the two Tshwane sides meet in the league opener weekend to whet the appetite of the fans for what is in store in the new Absa Premier League campaign.
The sides meet at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday afternoon, and it promises to be one to warm the hearts in the chill that is sweeping the country.
Yet, Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane must be concerned at his side’s failure to get goals in their recent encounters, most notably their 1-0 loss to Maritzburg United in the MTN8. They had dominated the game, and one break out gave their opponents the winning goal while his boys were shooting blanks..
But Mosimane, having admitted to the concern, will have been working at getting matters to right.
He has bolstered his squad with players like George Lebese and Oupa Manyisa, both of whom are attacking midfielders, who could be thrown in at the deep end on Saturday after coming on as substitutes in their last match. While he has also signed striker Thokozane Sekotlong, former Free a State Stars hit man, he may not be match ready yet to go into battle in a game that will be furiously fast.
Lebese, in particular, is known for scoring crucial goals for his previous team, and the Sundowns technical team will hope he brings that form to the Brazilians. His team mates will hope to play him into the Brazilians game, and reap the reward for his enterprise.
Manyisa will allow Captain Hlompho Kekana to play his breakdown defensive role with his forays forward, allowing also Themba Zwane to play more attacking in exchanges with Thapelo Morena.
Mosimane has resigned himself to Khama Billiat being on his way out, and it remains to be seen how the master tactician deals with, and manages this situation as he tries to rebuild a frontline combination that will give him the results that the now dismantled CBD gave him in previous campaigns.
Supersport will be home in this encounter, and will be buoyed by their recent form which includes a knock out blow for Kaizer Chiefs in the MTN8.
They will hope that their own hit man Jeremy Brockie will strike form and deliver the goods. Brockie is a predator in front of goal, and the Sundowns defence will have to be on the alert.
But it is also their build up game that Sundowns need to worry about, and Tebogo Langerman and Morena will need to keep runners like Thuso Phala in check.
Motjeka Madisha and Thabo Nthete in central defence will also need to be on the alert, and Mosimane will hope that his number one goalkeeper Denis Onyango returns from injury. Madisha has shown great promise, and the youngster can only grow in stature and ability.
Confident of their ability to score goals against Supersport – they put six past Supersport defence in the past season without conceding – they will go out for an early goal to settle the nerves and enable frontmen Percy Tau and Yannick Zakri to play a more relaxed game and score the chances that have been available to them.
Kekana is confident that his side is gelling, and hope that they get their confidence back. They are determined to wrest the league championship back from Bidvest Wits, having narrowly lost it even though they were playing at only about 80% of their ability following a grueling campaign. The coach has drilled into them the mantra that you cannot lose if you don’t concede.
Having lost in the MTN8, they will be comforted by the fact of the quality of silverware in their cabinet. But they will know that every team in the PSL will be going all out to beat them, and Supersport will be no different.
The positive spirit displayed by the fans has given the side courage, and they will be going all out to keep them happy.