Absa Premiership

Eymael backs Masandawana against Barca

2018-05-16 10:41
Hlompho Kekana and Sundowns crowned (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Free State Stars coach Luc Eymael believes that Mamelodi Sundowns have the quality to give Barcelona a tough test in Wednesday's friendly at the FNB Stadium.

The Spanish La Liga champions have been brought to South Africa at a great cost to the pocket of club boss Patrice Motsepe, and will face the Brazilians at the sold-out venue in Johannesburg.

Eymael, who led Stars to a sixth-placed finish and has a Nedbank Cup final against Maritzburg United to look forward to on Saturday, takes the view that it is an exciting challenge for Downs.

He said: "For Sundowns it certainly is a place to show everybody what they can do at a good level.

"Sundowns play nice soccer‚ a good ball possession game‚ a bit like Barcelona. They will be up against more experienced players.

"It depends on which players the Barca coach uses - I'm sure he will do some rotation of players.

"It will be a very good experience for the Sundowns players‚ because after that they will play in the Champions League.

"And nobody can take away the experience that you can gain in these high level games. It will help their players for playing in the national team‚ in the Champions League and in the league.

"You know‚ so many times you will hear [Downs coach] Pitso [Mosimane] saying‚ 'Ah‚ we knew that we would win because we are used to these games'. Now it will be a different game.

"With Barcelona it's a culture where from a young age‚ when you are eight years old‚ you play with the same system‚ same philosophy.

"But we say that Sundowns are the 'Brazilians' from South Africa‚ so we will see. I think it will be a very interesting game‚ and it will help Sundowns to gain more experience at the higher level‚ and prepare them for the Champions League‚ I think."

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Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Free State Stars v Golden Arrows, Goble Park 19:30
Friday, 26 October 2018
Wits v Highlands Park, Bidvest Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 27 October 2018
Orlando Pirates v Kaizer Chiefs, FNB Stadium 15:30
Polokwane City v Maritzburg United, Old Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Cape Town City v AmaZulu, Cape Town Stadium 20:15
Chippa United v Mamelodi Sundowns, Sisa Dukashe Stadium 20:15
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