Roger De Sa: Why Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates can reach Caf Champions League knockout stages

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The former Sundowns goalkeeper has backed the two Gauteng giants ahead of their group stage campaigns

Ex-South Africa international Roger De Sa believes Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates have been drawn in tough 2018/19 Caf Champions League groups.

Sundowns are in Group A which features Wydad Athletic from Morocco, Ivorian giants Asec Mimosas and Nigerian side Lobi Stars, while Pirates been pitted against AC Horoya of Guinea, Zimbabwean outfit FC Platinum and Tunisian champions Esperance in Group B.

 “I think there is no easy group because it will be very tough going to all these countries and having to face different conditions,” De Sa told Goal.

“There are challenges when travelling around Africa. You go to the north, south and central, things are different from food to the field and travelling – there’s no easy group,” he noted.

“However, it is not a bad draw for Pirates because I remember we had good performances both home and away,” recalled the former Pirates coach.

“Both clubs will be tested, but I believe Sundowns and Pirates have the capacity to do well both home and away,” he said.

“They just have to maintain their focus, collect maximum points at home and avoid losing away. In that way they can be able to progress and reach the knockout stages,” he said.

The two teams will represent the Premier Soccer League (PSL) in the group stages and they could face each other should they progress to the knockout stages.

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De Sa, who led Pirates to the 2013 Champions League final where they lost to Egypt's Al Ahly, reckons Sundowns are more experienced having won the competition in 2016. 

“Yeah, look Sundowns are more experienced since they have been playing regularly in the competition. Pirates have also done well despite their absence in recent times,” he continued.

“I am sure Sundowns will start doing their homework and what is nice about them is that they can book a chartered flight before or after the games. I wish both of them all the best of luck,” concluded..

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