JOHANNESBURG – Baroka FC will trot on to the Lucas Moripe Stadium cock-a-hoop this evening (7.30pm kickoff), the Limpopo outfit fresh from winning their maiden silverware in the elite league.
And having beaten Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0 en route to their Telkom Knockout success, Bakgaga will believe they can complete a double over the Absa Premiership champions.
The Brazilians though are no doubt still smarting from that shock loss at the Peter Mokaba stadium and will love nothing more than to get even and burst the celebrant Baroka’s bubble.
Pitso Mosimane’s team are on a good run of form in the league, being the only side yet to taste defeat this season and positioned third on the 16 team table, three points behind leaders Orlando Pirates who have played three matches more.
They are also through to the first round proper of the Caf Champions League in which they next face Al Ahly Bhengazi of Libya.
Coach Mosimane has acknowledged just how difficult it will be for them having to play Baroka with their minds on the trip to north Africa for the continental tie.
“Our next trip is not an easy one because we have a thorn in the flesh which is the Baroka game in midweek.”
Sundowns though have a big enough squad that can see Mosimane use different teams for the two matches.
He is, however, too much of a perfectionist to treat any of the matches with perceived disdain and you can bet on him picking his strongest line-up for tonight’s encounter.
After all, that cup loss will still be hurting and he and his team would love nothing less than to put Baroka in their place. Having gone to extra time and penalties in PE at the weekend, Baroka are likely to be a tired lot and they do not have the depth enjoyed by Sundowns.
It makes for a fascinating encounter that will see many installing the hosts as favourites for the three points.
Lest it be forgotten though, Sundowns were touted to win that Telkom Knockout clash in Polokwane.
Will it be a case of revenge being a dish best served cold for the Brazilians, or will Bakgaga put a cherry on top of their cup triumph by inflicting the first league loss of the season on the defending champions?@Tshiliboy