Wits look to stop Sundowns

2012-03-13 11:16
Ramahlwe Mphahlele (File)

Johannesburg - Mamelodi Sundowns will be looking to continue with their undefeated streak when they meet Bidvest Wits on Tuesday in an Absa Premiership match at Loftus Stadium, kick-off at 19:30.

The Brazilians are yet to lose a match in 2012 and are on a high following their record breaking 24-0 win over Powerlines FC in the Nedbank Cup last weekend.

However, despite their confidence being at a high, Sundowns’ defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele maintains that that their next adversaries will be no walk in the park.

“Bidvest Wits are always a dangerous side to play against, who always give the top clubs a difficult time, and what I know is that Roger De Sa really believes in his boys and so those young players perform for him,” suggested Mphahlele.

The Johannesburg club was equally successful in their Nedbank Cup bid, by eliminating Moroka Swallows 1-0 on the Friday evening.

“They just knocked (Moroka) Swallows out of the Nedbank Cup so this shows you they are in good form and our match will not be an easy one at all.

“We know they have many quick players and the likes of 'General' (Sibusiso) Vilakazi have started to take the role as key players in the team. We know they will give us a strong challenge,” added the ‘Downs man.

Mphahlele then went on to note his progress from injury, but will unfortunately have to watch the match from the stands, “As for me, I have recovered from the quad strain injury, but have not got myself back into the playing squad just yet. The team is winning and doing well, which makes it difficult to get back in.”

2012 has seen the goal-scoring prowess of Roger de Sa’s men come to a stagger as they have only managed three goals in four games, something reserve goalkeeper Eduan Naude believes is down to the injuries that have hit the squad as well as the departure of Sifiso Myeni.

“I think we have had a few injuries to attacking players and we lost Myeni, which I think that just made it hard to find consistency.

“Obviously [Ryan Chapman] Chappies was a huge loss as he was our top scorer, but I think we'll start banging them in again soon,” said Naude.

The Clever Boys will be taking on their next adversaries away from home, but the shot-stopper remains confident and has hinted that pressure on the Brazilians may be key to getting a result.

“It is always tough to play away but we get used to it, as even some of our home games there is more support for the other team.

“I think we play very similar formations which makes it easy for us. They like to play passing football so I think we just need to put them under high pressure and they'll struggle against us,” added the keeper.

Naude then went on to note the depth of Johan Neeskens’ side is their strongest point and that Wits will be focusing on keeping a clean sheet and gaining possession of the ball in order to take home maximum points.

“Definitely their depth,” added the 25-year-old. “They have many quality players and that means if one player isn't having a good game they have plenty of firepower to bring off the bench which is crucial.

“I think that Powerlines match was just one of those freak games, but respect to Sundowns because they never stopped scoring.

“We won't change the way we play cause of that game. We always focus on trying to keep a clean sheet because obviously then you can't lose. Defense will be important but we are definitely going give it a full go when we have possession of the ball.

“That is our strong point for sure…”

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