Absa Premiership

Mlambo bracing himself for midfield battle

2016-09-30 08:03
Xola Mlambo (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Bidvest Wits midfielder Xola Mlambo is getting ready for a tough fight in the centre of the pitch against Mamelodi Sundowns in the MTN 8 final on Saturday.

Mlambo and co. will go up against a Brazilians midfield boasting the likes of Tiyani Mabunda and Hlompho Kekana and he is well-aware that his work will be cut out for him on the night.

Kekana and Mabunda form the spine of an impressive Sundowns team that will play in two cup finals next month, starting with the MTN8 final this weekend at Mbombela Stadium followed by the CAF Champions League final against Zamalek over two legs on 14 and 21 October.

"I think that they have a good pairing," Mlambo told Vodacom Soccer. "Looking at what they have done in the Premier League and in CAF, it shows that they are a strong side and that pairing has kept the team together.

"It won't be an easy battle. We have to up our game and work twice as hard as they would."

While Sundowns first team is relatively settled, there are a number of choices Wits head coach Gavin Hunt needs to make ahead of the match. Last season they relied on Phumlani Ntshangase and Ben Motswari while they have started this campaign with Mlambo and Thabang Monare in the centre of midfield.

Mlambo and Monare have made a seamless transition that betrays the fact they haven't been at Wits that long.

"I wouldn't say that I am a regular because we have only played not more than six games," he added.

"The team was welcoming, even the technical side. They have always been behind my back, pushing me. That's what has made it easier for me to gel into the team."

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Friday, 15 December 2017
Cape Town City FC v AmaZulu FC, Cape Town Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Mamelodi Sundowns v Bloemfontein Celtic, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 15:30
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