Mamelodi Sundowns will make a trip across Gauteng to the Orlando Stadium to face second placed Orlando Pirates as they aim to retain the MTN 8 Cup. The domestic treble winning South African Champs will battle for a chance to defend the MTN 8 trophy after winning it in a penalty shoot-out at Moses Mabhida Stadium last season, Coach Manqoba Mngqithi is well informed of his opponents new formation and tactics. The Brazilians Coach delivered his thoughts about the weekend’s encounter during the MTN 8 press conference, he said:
“I think the preparations have gone very well, one is just not too sure after the FIFA Break you’ll never get another match before such a critical match. You will always have question marks as to how is the reaction of the team after the break, but in terms of preparations I think everything has went very well. We have done our due diligence in looking at the opposition and the shape they have adopted this season which is 3-4-3 and they are more fit, sometimes they have two strikers and one 10. Sometimes they play with one striker and two 10’s with that block in the midfield of the two central midfielders and the two 10’s.”
Bafana Ba Style have settled relatively well into the season, starting off the season with 2 – 0 win over Cape Town City and a thrashing 4 – 0 victory against AmaKhosi being the highlight so far. Saturday’s clash will be the first meeting between the two clubs in the new season with Bafana Ba Style going to Esigodini. Downs have had the upper hand against Pirates in the past two seasons with four wins out of four, the Tshwane giants also prevailed hands down in the previous season as they lost only three games out of 30 to finish 16 points ahead of runners-up, Coach Manqoba expressed the desire to be victorious on Saturday and continue with their domestic dominance.
“It’s going to be a very interesting match, I am looking forward to a very nice match of football that will have a lot of goals because this game deserves to have goals and I wonder which side they will be coming from. We always go to the match to win the match, that’s the advantage we have as a team. We put our best foot forward, we are not going there to sit back and watch them playing in front of us.”
“We will not go there and sit back and watch them play in front of us, it’s not what we are intending to do. We are not going to Orlando to come back with a draw and hope to win it in the second leg. We’re too experienced in that space of two-legged matches and we know what is most likely to happen. We will give it our best shot, if we bring our A-game and we match the hunger, I think our quality will prevail in the end.”
Mamelodi Sundowns do battle with Orlando Pirates this afternoon in the MTN8 semi-final leg 1 at the Orlando Stadium. Kickoff is at 15H30, live on SuperSport TV.