Co-Coach Rulani and Lyle preview this weekends clash in Sudan

Mamelodi Sundowns have ten points in their bank as they prepare to take on Sudanese Al Hilal Omdurman in the CAF Champions League Group A encounter on Saturday. 19 March.

The Brazilians Co-Coach Rulani Mokwena knows his side faces some tough clashes as the Championship reaches its climax, but the Tshwane giants are determined to fight for another Champions League title.

“Of Course, they are under pressure they need to win, and it’s not going to be easy to win against us because regardless of whether we play at 9 or 3 pm we still have to play the game and at Sundowns we play to dominate the ball, we want to dominate the pitch and we play to win. It’s an interesting game, and an interesting opposition that can really hurt us [therefore] without 100% focus and respect we have no chance.”

Masandawana got their campaign back on track by defeating Egyptian rivals twice in their most recent encounter. Coach Rulani also paid attention to the opposition’s possibility of causing an upset for the Yellow Nation. He said, “The past performances against Al Ahly have very little bearing on tomorrow’s match, Al Hilal are a strong team and they deserve all our respect. You can see that from a statistical perspective they dominated both Al Merrikh and Al Ahly at home, in our group they lead in relation to shots at goal, big chances created, they’ve got players that can hurt you in transition which is a big threat.”

“If you look at Al Hilal’s journey in the group stages from a tactical perspective, they’ve been quite consistent in their games, out of the four games, in the three matches played they’ve been consistent with their 4-2-3-1. In their last game against Al Merrikh they changed the structure a little bit, they went more for a 4-4-2 diamond shape with two strikers, and that helped them get a very important goal [and] if you look at how the goal came in [the last minutes of the game] against Al Merrikh, you’ll see clearly the benefit of having two strikers in the attack.”

“In the other games they had one striker and very aggressive wingers coming in a 4-2-3-1 with a little bit more conservative control of the midfield, but they are s team that looks to build from the back, they are s team that looks to press from the top and they want to dominate possession and play well.”

Bafana Ba Style’s left-footer Lyle Lakay formed a part of the history-making squad that overthrew the Egyptians in their back-to-back successful encounters has also emphasized the words of his coach ahead of the weekend’s clash:

“It’s going to be a tough one, they also have to win and we also came here to win , as the coach mentioned, they are a good team with a good coach. But we also did our analysis on them like we do with any other game and we prepared well, you can expect us to go all out.”