Downs, United set for Tshwane Derby thriller

@ Backpagepix
@ Backpagepix

Mamelodi Sundowns are out to return to winning ways when they host SuperSport United in their Absa Premiership Tshwane derby on Thursday night at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

Kick-off is at 7:30pm.

Coach Pitso Mosimane is under pressure to lead his charges to a win and break their six match winless streak in all competitions.

However, meeting a revived and star studded United side presents a tough challenge with Stuart Baxter’s men also chasing their first title under the Englishman.

Mosimane will have to motivate his men following their 1-0 loss to Golden Arrows in the Nedbank Cup last weekend and ensure they claim the bragging rights in the derby.

On the log table, the league’s defending champions sit at number five with 35 points from 19 matches and will now hope to win their next two matches to close the gap on log leaders Bidvest Wits.

“The match will be very tough because it’s a derby. We are looking forward to the match,”said skipper Hlompho Kekana.

“We’ve had a bad run, but I’ve been speaking to Khama (Billiat) and I told him to score two goals against SuperSport.

“Dean (Furman) knows that when we are in the national team, we always brag about who won the derby.

“It is not an easy task to represent a brand like Sundowns. We want to win this match for bragging rights.

“Let’s be honest, everyone wants to beat Sundowns but that is not always an easy thing.”

Looking at the cross town rivals, Amatsantsantsa A Pitori are also hoping to bag a win and boost their morale ahead of their upcoming CAF Confederation Cup tie.

They host Liberian side, Barrack Young Controllers this Sunday in their second leg of the first round play-off after a 1-1 draw away last weekend in Monrovia.

However, looking at their domestic front, United will have to keep their title aspirations alive and bag a win on Thursday.

Coming fresh from a 1-0 loss in the league to Baroka and a win over KwaDukuza United in the Nedbank Cup means they will desperate to beat their Tshwane rivals.

The Tshwane giants will meet for the third time on Thursday (first in the league) with two clashes coming from cup competitions.

Sundowns won the MTN8 Cup clash 3-1 in August, but lost the Telkom Knockout Cup tie on penalties in November 2016.

Baxter’s men occupy the fourth spot with 37 points, two above Sundowns, and will be gunning to reach the top three.

“To go and lose to Baroka was a big blow to us. We want to be back on top and we have a good opportunity to do that,” said midfielder Dean Furman.

“Our fans have been brilliant this season, they have followed is across the country.

“If they (Sundowns) are planning to score two goals,  then we will have to score three.”

This article was sourced from the PSL website.


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