Pretoria – The resurgence of Mamelodi Sundowns under Pitso Mosimane will be tested as the Premier League resumes after a lengthy break on Tuesday.
Towards the end of last year, the Brazilians were doing well as new boss Mosimane inspired them out of the relegation zone following the sacking of Johan Neeskens, under whom Sundowns performed poorly.
Since the take over by Mosimane, Downs have been on the up with two wins and two draws. It looked encouraging for their fans as their team moved from the relegation zone to 10th position in the league, but their journey was halted by the recess to accommodate the Africa Cup of Nations.
The idea of the break did not sit well with Mosimane, who feared that his men would lose momentum during the idle two months. Mosimane was impressed by the progress that his men were making.
“I am happy with the squad, the way the team has responded. The good thing is they want to play and they want to get out of the hole. I like the attitude and the body language. They want to play. They want to save the team. The attitude is different,” Mosimane said then.
The former Bafana Bafana coach will be hoping that his charges can give a good account of themselves when they face a stern test against Kaizer Chiefs at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday night. So far, Chiefs will be Mosimane’s toughest opponents and it won’t be easy for Sundowns as Chiefs will be eager to maintain their place at the top of the Absa Premiership.
With their bitter rivals Orlando Pirates breathing heavily down their necks, just one point behind Chiefs’ 35, the latter will be keen to overcome Sundowns as failure to do so could see Pirates topple them from the summit of the league. Chiefs will rely on their Afcon stars who returned to full training late last week. It remains to be seen if the likes of Thsepo Masilela, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Bernard Parker and Lehlohonolo Majoro will be at their best or will be jaded following their involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations with Bafana Bafana.
Sundowns will also be welcoming goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands and striker Katlego Mphela to their line-up from national duty. The two did not waste time in playing some Reserve League matches after their return from Gordon Igesund’s team.
SuperSport United take on Pirates in another league clash on Wednesday. Pirates are expected to go all out as victory might enable them to get closer to if not topple Chiefs. SuperSport coach Gavin Hunt is bracing himself for a tough challenge on Wednesday night.
“It’s good that we are back playing. Everybody is tired of training and friendly matches. It’s going to be tough for us against Pirates. They are a good side. It’s going to be tough as we play four to five matches away,” said Hunt. – Pretoria News