SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler will be hoping his players can do the job against Sundowns. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Mamelodi Sundowns’ dominance in the Tshwane Derby against SuperSport United is slowly turning it into a one-sided affair that cannot be called a rivalry.

The Brazilians are unbeaten in their last 13 meetings with Matsatsantsa a Pitori in all competitions.

SuperSport desperately need to end that dominance and collect maximum points that would be crucial in their fight for Absa Premiership survival.

Winning the key battles tonight at Lucas Moripe Stadium will go a long way in SuperSport’s plans to upset their more successful neighbours.

Here are three such battles:

Jeremy Brockie v Reyaad Pieterse

The two have been in contact since the New Zealand forward left SuperSport to join the Brazilians due to their friendship.

There hasn’t been much positive to talk about though in how they have performed for their respective teams.

Pieterse has failed to seize the moment to wrestle the No1 jersey in his favour in Ronwen Williams’ absence.

The lanky goalkeeper has looked shaky, often caught out of position and conceding silly goals.

Williams is likely to walk back into the starting XI from injury because of how much his club has missed him.

Brockie has also been struggling - in front of goals. He hasn’t scored in 14 matches, going all the way back to his time at SuperSport.

He needs to open his account to settle the nerves, with each miss knocking his confidence.

Opening that account against his former team would be sweet revenge for the Kiwi who saw his dream move stalled by SuperSport.

Jeremy Brockie will be keen to impress against his old team. Photo: BackpagePix

Evans Rusike v Motjeka Madisha

The Zimbabwean forward is tipped by coach Eric Tinkler to fill the big boots left by Brockie.

Rusike has a high work-rate that made him Maritzburg United’s first line of defence when the Team of Choice lost the ball forward.

He doesn’t only work hard but also has an eye for goal, characteristics that Matsatsantsa need to turn around what has been a miserable second half of the season.

Rusike has shown that he could be the club’s go-to-man for goals. He will come up against a talented but erratic Motjeka Madisha.

The former Under-20 national team captain has come out of his shell this season, growing as a leader and becoming more vocal.

But the centre-back’s game is still not complete due to the silly mistakes he makes.

Evans Rusike will be key for Supersport as they look for a win over Sundowns. Photo: BackpagePix

Pitso Mosimane v Eric Tinkler

The two coaches need this win for different reasons.

Mosimane wants to put daylight between Sundowns and the chasing pack.

Tinkler needs the points to ensure that SuperSport aren’t drawn into the relegation quagmire.

Mosimane and Tinkler are hard-working coaches who give everything on the field. They are the most successful South African coaches in club football in the Caf arena.

Mosimane is the country’s only coach to win the Caf Champions League while Tinkler is the only South African to appear in two Caf Confederation Cup finals, having also been assistant coach when Orlando Pirates reached the final of the 2015 Champions League.

They have exchanged nasty blows that ranged from Tinkler saying that Mosimane talks too much to “Jingles” taking a swipe at Tinkler by saying that they are struggling after the Confederation Cup final because they didn’t prepare for it, or life after it.

They will be eager to get one over the other not only for the points but also for the bragging rights.

Pitso Mosimane will be hoping his team can continue their domination over Supersport United. Photo: Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix


Saturday Star

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