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Sundowns face their toughest test as they play SuperSport United in Tshwane derby

Thamsanqa Gabuza of Supersport United is challenged by Neo Maema of Mamelodi Sundowns during their DStv Premiership clash at Loftus Versfeld in November. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Thamsanqa Gabuza of Supersport United is challenged by Neo Maema of Mamelodi Sundowns during their DStv Premiership clash at Loftus Versfeld in November. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Published Dec 10, 2021

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Durban — Mamelodi Sundowns face a tricky fixture on Saturday afternoon as they make a short trip to Atteridgeville to play against SuperSport United in the Tshwane derby.

Sundowns remain unbeaten in the league so far this season but out of all teams, it was possibly SuperSport who came closest to beating the runaway league leaders when they held them to a 2-2 draw at Loftus Versfeld late last month.

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Matsantsanta A Pitori showed tremendous character in that game as they mounted a comeback after being 2-0 down. Several teams in the PSL would have retreated and conceded defeat had they been in a similar position against the reigning league champions.

Meanwhile, Royal AM play in their second Durban derby in two weeks as they host neighbours Golden Arrows at the Chatsworth Stadium. The game promises to be a physical one. Arrows have not emulated their heroics from last season this term but they will be filled with confidence after winning their last two matches on the trot against Chippa United and Baroka FC.

Royal AM fought hard but were ultimately outdone as they lost 3-2 to Sundowns in their last game which was a top-of-the-table clash. The match between Arrows and Royal AM promises to be a physical one and one can expect that the ball will be consigned to midfield for large portions of the game.

After playing out to dull draws against AmaZulu and Baroka FC in their last two games, Orlando Pirates will have a good chance to return to winning ways when they host struggling TS Galaxy at the Orlando Stadium.

Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi recently made a rare bold statement by claiming that his troops are on par with league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.

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If Pirates want to vindicate Ncikazi’s words, it is essential that they record dominant wins in their upcoming games. The Sea Robbers upcoming games are against Galaxy, Swallows, Sundowns and Marumo Gallants before they close out the year with a game against AmaZulu.

Out of all these teams, Sundowns is the only one that is in the league’s top three and a team like Sundowns will be expected to do nothing less than routinely beat most of these aforementioned teams.

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If Ncikazi’s team struggles to break them down, it will prove something that many suspect, that there is a bit of a gulf in class between Sundowns and Pirates at this point in time.

@eshlinv

IOL Sport

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