Preview: Rayon Sports v Mamelodi Sundowns

2018-03-07 10:05
Pitso Mosimane (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns have given themselves plenty of time to prepare for the CAF Champions League first-round, first-leg clash away to Rayon Sports on Wednesday.

Pitso Mosimane's squad flew to Rwanda just hours after beating AmaZulu 3-1 in Durban on Friday, where goals from Ricardo Nascimento (penalty) and Sibusiso Vilakazi (brace) kept the Brazilians four points clear at the top of the Premiership standings.

The victory at the King Zwelithini Stadium was only their fourth in nine league games since the mid-season break, which has given the chasing pack hope of catching Downs in the remaining seven fixtures.

Mosimane admits he has gambled with team selections of late to keep key players fresh for continental action and the run-in to the domestic season, with Vilakazi, Hlompho Kekana, Themba Zwane and Tiyani Mabunda all expected to feature in Kigali.

"It's been difficult juggling our domestic and continental commitments," he was quoted as saying on the club's official website. "I have taken some risks with how we manage our squad.

"I have been resting Themba Zwane, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Hlompho Kekana because they are Bafana Bafana players. They have played a lot of football and they have travelled a lot.

"We also rested Jeremy Brockie, who played in the CAF Confederation Cup. You saw how Vilakazi lifted us when he came on against SuperSport United after being rested.

"Zwane and Kekana are fresh. We rested Tiyani Mabunda against SuperSport United. It's risky but we have to juggle the team to make sure that in the final last five games we have legs and fresh legs.

"Bafana players know how to play in the continent. Vilakazi, Zwane, Kekana and Mabunda are the big guns who have played in the continent and most of them were there when we won the Champions League.

"This is the time to bring them on now because we sacrificed them in the league to ensure that they are fresh. It's risky but we can afford them."

Olivier Karekezi's side are also top of the table in their league, although only goal difference separates them and Kiyovu Sports in second place.

The Nyanza outfit have played just four games in the Rwanda National Football League after a lengthier mid-season break, while they saw off LLB Academic of Burundi on away goals in the previous round of Africa's elite club competition.

Kick-off is at 18:00 


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Do you think SAFA made the right choice in appointing Stuart Baxter as head coach of Bafana Bafana?

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.