PSL

Sundowns in the hot seat

2012-04-10 14:05
Siyanda Xulu (Gallo)

Johannesburg - The pressure is firmly on Mamelodi Sundowns to improve their recent slump in form and claw back to the top of the Premiership standings when they meet Black Leopards in Polokwane on Wednesday evening.

After setting the pace for the last four months, Sundowns were dethroned by Orlando Pirates on Monday with the defending champions taking a three-point lead over the Pretoria side.

"All the players in the team understand the importance of collecting all three points [against Leopards]," defender Siyanda Xulu told the club's website on Tuesday.

"We need to get back to winning ways and reclaim our position at the top of the table, regardless of Leopards' current form."

The Brazilians' recent run has been lukewarm as they come off three successive goalless draws - two of them at home.

Johan Neeskens' team, however, have had a solid campaign, losing only twice in their 23 games, and Xulu sent the hosts a warning that they would get back to winning ways in their midweek clash.

"We might have only won one match in the last four league matches, with Leopards enjoying a good run of late, but they must not expect another draw," Xulu said.

"We will be playing like we are fighting for our lives."

Despite their slump in front of goal, Sundowns' tally of 37 strikes remains the most of any team this season.

With either Nyasha Mushekwi or Katlego Mphela up front, and Richard Henyekane as their understudy, Downs carry some of the league's most formidable marksmen.

They will also be bolstered by the return of inspirational captain Teko Modise, expected to add the creative spark that was missing in midfield when he served a one-match suspension in their 0-0 draw against Golden Arrows last week.

Leopards, meanwhile, will enter the fixture with just one training session, on Tuesday morning, since returning from their CAF Confederation Cup commitments in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at the weekend.

They will go into the match with added confidence after progressing to the second round of the continental competition.

The Limpopo outfit's coach, Vladislav Heric, said he expected a hard fought battle against arguably the country's most formidable squad.

"It will be difficult, that we know for sure," said Heric, who did not travel with the team to the DRC for medical reasons.

"I mean, Sundowns are the cream of the league, with a good coach and great players, but I know my team and they will play their hearts out."

Lidoda Duvha are fresh off three successive league victories, easing their relegation woes, including a stunning 1-0 win over title contenders Kaizer Chiefs last week.

They are 14th on the log with seven games left to climb further up the table.

Leopards will be sweating on the fitness of some of their key players - goalkeeper Postnett Omony, striker Rodney Ramagalela and midfielder Thabo Mongalo, who suffered ailments in Lubumbashi last week.

"It is a bit early to tell, but we will see how things go before the match," Heric said.

"I will hear what my medical team says and take it from there."

Read more on:    mamelodi sundowns  |  psl  |  johan neeskens  |  soccer

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

When all is said and done in the 2015/16 Absa Premiership season, who will be crowned champions of South Africa?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 103rd Tour de France is all systems GO! Follow the pain, struggles and ultimate joy as the world's best riders put their talents to the test over 21 stages.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.