PSL teams gear up for TKO

2014-10-03 14:11
Telkom Knockout trophy (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Mamelodi Sundowns defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele says drawing the University of Pretoria in the opening round of the Telkom Knockout is cause for concern for the defending Premiership champions.

Preview: Sundowns vs AmaTuks

“If there’s one club we as Sundowns hate playing against, it’s Tuks. Whenever they play against us, they just look different,” Mphahlele said ahead of Saturday’s, October 4. Kick-off is at 17:30.

“They run the whole 90 minutes. They can run for 120 minutes.

“They have nothing to lose, they’re going to push us around and it’s going to be a difficult game, that’s what we are anticipating.”

Sundowns host AmaTuks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday afternoon in one of eight Knockout fixtures on offer this weekend, as the second cup competition of the season gets underway.

A Pretoria derby that has traditionally produced some thrilling action, the cross-town rivals will square off for a sixth time in the country’s top-flight, though Sundowns are unbeaten in all five previous meetings.

Mphahlele has fond memories of Tuks. The former South Africa under-23 skipper spent a season on loan under coach Steve Barker in 2012/13 and quickly emerged as a key component to a University side that finished that season in the top eight, in their first stint in the Premiership.

Mphahlele was sent on loan by then-coach Johan Neeskens, who deemed the defender surplus to requirements.

The 24-year-old looked set to sign a permanent deal with Tuks, but that was before new boss Pitso Mosimane recalled him to the Brazilians and rekindled the player’s career, using him for the entirety of last season.

“When you play against Sundowns, Orlando Pirates or Kaizer Chiefs, I know the boys (Tuks) are fired up for sure,” the right-back said.

“They play to impress. I’ve played against Tuks as a Sundowns player and knowing Barker, he’s going to motivate them.”

In Saturday’s other games, Kaizer Chiefs host Maritzburg United for a second time in a week at 8:15.

Unbeaten in all 11 of their fixtures so far and newly-crowned MTN8 champions, Chiefs are already being touted as potential Knockout champions.

Amakhosi walked away 1-0 winners last weekend at FNB Stadium thanks to a Mandla Masango penalty on the stroke of half-time in an evenly-contested tie, which would have given coach Steve Komphela some much-needed insight ahead of this weekend’s cup meeting.

At the same time, AmaZulu welcome Bloemfontein Celtic to the Princess Magogo Stadium.

Earlier in the day, SuperSport United get the day’s play underway at 3pm when they entertain Free State Stars at Lucas Moripe Stadium.

The two have already met this season in a league clash. SuperSport led 2-1 in the 84th minute, but a quick-fire double from Stars somehow saw United lose the game 3-2 in the space of 10 second-half minutes.

United have a new coach after struggling Cavin Johnson was sacked in favour of former Bafana Bafana coach and four-time Premiership champion, Gordon Igesund.

Igesund is yet to put a foot wrong and has won two-out-of-two games since taking charge a month ago.

Also starting at 3pm are defending champions, Platinum Stars, and Chippa United.

Chippa shocked Stars on the opening weekend of the new league season, beating Dikwena 2-0 in Port Elizabeth.

Read more on:    mamelodi sundowns  |  kaizer chiefs  |  psl  |  soccer

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