Mamelodi Sundowns resume their duties in the DStv Premiership this Saturday against Stellenbosch FC at the Danie Craven Stadium.
Masandawana have been out of action for nearly a week with their last encounter resulting in success to give the defending Champions authority with their log positioning. Downs co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi explained the importance of resting the players after their last match.
“We took a decision to give the players recovery immediately after the match on Sunday. Normally on a restart we will always concentrate on our defense and that’s what we did today, to try and make sure that we are ready for the match ahead.”
The month of December will see The Brazilians in back-to-back action with seven games lined up for the Tshwane giants. Downs are no strangers to the pressure piled on them, having played in both domestic and continental competition, Coach Manqoba and his team have a strategy in place to lead the team to victory despite the time constraints in preparations.
“The games that are coming are not giving us a chance to prepare at all, because after Stellenbosch there is one day of traveling and then after that you are already on match day -1 for the next match. Training is now going to be more on matches and video analysis, we will not have as much time to spend on the field. The truth of the matter is [that] any coach at this stage of the season who thinks they might have enough time to train the team might find themselves having alot of problems because the games are going to be coming in thick and fast.”
Stellenbosch were on a roller-coaster in the opening days of the 2021/22 season and won their games effortlessly to remain as potential league contenders, however their past two meetings have yielded no points collected for them. The Western Cape based team are still sitting amongst the top teams in the DStv Premiership log standing and will put in a good fight against Masandawana on Saturday. Coach Manqoba outlined his opponents playing style and the areas in which could potentially cause an upset when they meet Stellies.
“It’s a very difficult team to break down, though in build up they look like they play with two center backs – which was [Sibusiso] Mthethwa and [Alan] Robertson, or Mthethwa and Robyn Johannes, then you also have [Zitha] Macheke who starts more as a 6 in attack, but in defense you already have him as one of the three center backs, that makes them have three center backs and two wing backs, and two midfielders in front of Macheke. On top of that they have got three players and against us we know, the speed is what they will always be looking for.
“They have [Ashley] Du preez, [Stanley] Dimgba, [Leandro] Mendieta, and those players will cause us a lot of problems. We know [them] very well [because] even in the last match that we played against them in Stellenbosch they gave us a very good run for our money, but at the end of the day we managed to conquer.”
Mamelodi Sundowns play against Stellenbosch on Saturday at the Danie Craven Stadium, kick off is 20h15. The game will be televised on SuperSport channel 202.