Ex-Bafana coaches square off

2014-12-03 12:48
Thabo Nthethe (File)
Cape Town - Tshwane giants Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United will clash in a hugely anticipated Absa Premiership encounter at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Wednesday.

Read: Sundowns up for SuperSport test

Matsatsantsa will shift their focus back to the league following a successful Telkom Knockout run which ultimately ended in them lifting the trophy at Orlando Stadium over the past weekend.

SuperSport have been rejuvenated by Gordon Igesund, a coach who has achieved huge success in South Africa’s top flight having won the league title a record four times, with four different teams.

While this season’s league title might seem far off, with Kaizer Chiefs sitting pretty at the top of the table, Igesund will be eager to haul in the Brazilians who have not been able to reach the heights they did at the back end of last season.

Although being unbeaten in their last seven encounters, ‘Downs 1-1 stalemate with the Amakhosi last time out was their fourth successive draw.

With both teams eager to close the gap on Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns centre back Thabo Nthethe expects an end to end game.

“This particular derby has never failed to deliver and is not about to do so, as both coaches encourage flowing football,” said Nthethe.

“We want to win the match at all cost and Supersport on the other hand just come from a high of winning the Telkom Knockout. I really predict a thriller of a match.”

Matsatsantsa are a massive 15 points off the pacesetters and won’t be afforded any chance to dwell on their cup success.

Thabo September hopes his side can capitalize on their game in hand and make some ground on the leaders before the Christmas break.

“It’s very important for us [winning this game] because we have a game in hand meaning we’re behind so this gives us a chance to close the gap,” said September.

“I know they want to win as well but we will never know what will happen in a game of football. We want to collect the points and when the Christmas break comes, we know we’re at a better position.

In head-to-head stats, Sundowns and SuperSport have met in 46 league matches since 1990.

The Brazilians have 21 wins compared to 14 for Matsatsantsa, while 11 matches have been drawn.

Sundowns have won nine of their 23 home matches against United, suffering nine defeats in the process.

Last season the Brazilians took four points off Matsatsantsa, drawing 1-1 away before winning the return game 3-0 at home.

The 3-0 win at Loftus Stadium secured the 2013/2014 Absa Premiership trophy for the Brazilians.

Kick-off is at 19:30.


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