Stakes waged against Chippa
And so when they trot onto the pitch at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday evening, it will be with the aim of making history.
They must score to win and never having done so on Sundowns home turf, the odds seem heavily stacked against them noted a buoyant Sundowns ahead of the decider .
The clash is the second leg of the MTN8, the first leg having ended goalless in Port Elizabeth.
Sundowns says there wont be dissuaded by the confidence coach Dan “Dance” Malesela has instilled in his side .
Chippa thrilled fans last season with their enterprising tik taka football that has turned them from an ordinary side into a very competitive side.
“ Their challenge is compounded by the fact that they face Sundowns at the Absa Premiership champions’ slaughterhouse, where they have swept all before them in the league run last season to break records.” notes Sundowns in their latest website update .
But coach Pitso Mosimane knows that Chippa will not be easy to beat. It never is easy to beat a side that can play the ball on the ground and in the two teams’ last encounter in the first leg, Malesela’s boys kept possession for long spells before the Tshwane side settled down to dominate them.
Added to this, Mosimane will be faced with the conundrum of who to field in this clash as he also prepares for the return leg of the CAF Champions League clash against Zesco United 3 days later at the same venue.
Working to Mosimane’s advantage is the depth of the Sundowns team. Added to that, he has several top signings who are not eligible to play in the CAF competition as they are either cup tied or were not registered by the August deadline for supplementary registrations. These are probably the men who Mosimane will throw into the fray – Sibusiso Vilakazi, Thapelo Morena, Yannick Zakri – on their own a formidable threesome.
Leonardo Castro, his hit-man up front, is still out injured alongside rightback Anele Ngcongca whilst Chippa will also be without their goal poacher Rhulani Manzini.
The options that Mosimane will have will enable him to juggle the team around, as he also cannot afford to risk injuries to some of the CAF registered players.
For Sundowns, Vilakazi seems to be finding his feet. It seems just a matter of time. So, too, Zakri, the Ivorian who is likely to set the scene alight with his deft touches and eye for goal. The coach and technical team know what the two players can deliver, and just like it took some time for the combination between Leonardo Castro, Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly to click, once these two click, they will provide additional armoury for the coach.
The coach will most likely bring on Anthony Laffor to start, as he is known as a player who can unlock defences as he showed once more against Zesco. Percy Tau has also been a revelation, and is slowly maturing. Once his decision-making is refined, he will be a great attacking option for the coach, but this also comes with time – which he has aplenty on his side.
Mosimane is therefor well equipped to fight fire with fire.
Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=15431