Mamelodi Sundowns will be looking to hold onto first place in the DStv Premiership when they visit AmaZulu on Monday night.
Masandawana lead the way in the top flight league with 43 points, meanwhile, Usuthu find themselves sixth in the table – 19 points behind the visitors and two points behind second placed Royal AM. The two teams were the opening acts of the new season in August which saw The Brazilians walk away with maximum points at the end of the day having played a thrilling end-to-end encounter with only one goal that separated the two sides. Downs co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi previewed the evening’s encounter as a tough tussle that awaits, taking into consideration the weather conditions the match will be played under.
“There’s this small margins of the weather and the pitch conditions always having a bearing and the quality of the match, but that does not affect the away team only, it affects everybody because you would never who will slip or have an injury from these slippery conditions in the match, or who will be affected by the cold or heat, in this case I would not want to use that as an excuse.”
He added: “I think AmaZulu are still a very dangerous team, any team in their position is wounded, they always want to climb and the number of points from each other is very close so whoever wins takes the other down [therefore] they will want to give it a fight.”
Usuthu were amongst the teams that collected maximum points from the weekend’s action, putting them in a good position to reclaim their good standing in the league. With Masandawana registering their fourth consecutive win from their previous match three days ago, the Tshwane giants will be looking to keep their momentum and widen the gap at the top with a win over AmaZulu.
“They have got quality players in [Luvuyo] Memela, [Lehlohonolo] Majoro, [Bonginkosi] Ntuli, [Andre] de Jong and [Thembela] Sikhakhane’s adventurous nature of going forward, it makes them a team to tick [also] with [Keagan] Buchanan strong on set pieces, you can never take them for granted. They still have [Tapelo] Xoki on set pieces too, either on direct set pieces or with his headers, they are a very, very capable team to cause an upset but be that as it may be, they also have to worry about what Sundowns will offer on the day.” Expressed Coach Manqoba.
“We believe we’ve got a team that’s capable of upsetting anyone but we can never make a mistake of thinking we are just going to walk over any opposition, because at this time of the season it depends who is more hungrier, who wants it more and who is prepared to dig very deep in order to get what they want.”
Masandawana are in the driver’s seat for the 2021/22 DStv Premiership title, with 13 wins in 17 of their matches played, four draws and an unbeaten run that continues, coach Manqoba showed satisfaction with his teams performance, saying: “I’m impressed with the group, their past two matches against Baroka FC, the come back with ten man and the performance against [Orlando] Pirates, though in the first half they gave us a little bit of pressure but the second half I think the boys came in very handy and gave a very good account of themselves.”
“One is optimistic that we are fortunate to have the group that we have and the come back of Neo [Maema] from injury also boosts the team a little bit, the goals that Pavol [Safranko] scored as a substitute also gives us something, obviously we will miss Grant [Kekana] who got injured in the previous match, but overall the boys are looking good.”
Mamelodi Sundowns will play against AmaZulu FC tonight at the Jonsson Kings Park Stadium in the DStv Premiership, kick off is at 19h30. This match will be televised on SuperSport Channel 202.