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.
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
“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
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
“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
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.