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CAF Champions League

Big guns return ahead of Sundowns' Tunisian clash

16:58 BST 19/06/2017
Hlompho Kekana scores for Mamelodi Sundowns
Masandawana welcome back many of their star players ahead of their clash with the Blood and Gold

Following Mamelodi Sundowns’ home defeat against Esperance Sportive de Tunis they now have the unfavourable task of tackling the Tunisian giants in their own backyard.

Although, Sundowns were pipped to the post in Tshwane, Pitso Mosimane was without several of his star players. Nonetheless, Masandawana have been given a major boost ahead of Wednesday night’s encounter in the Tunisian capital with the return of Hlompho Kekana, Motjeka Madisha and Anthony Laffor. However, Sundowns will once again be without the services of their talisman Khama Billiat and possibly Wayne Arendse, who remains a doubt for the clash, having only returned from a long-term injury.

Meanwhile, despite having so much at stake, Mosimane has managed to deflect the pressure onto their Tunisian opponents.

“The pressure is not on us‚" Mosimane told reporters.

"They are playing in front of their supporters‚ they must show their supporters how good they are‚ like they did against Horoya and Vita Club (both 3-1 wins).

“I expect them to play the same way‚ they would like to dominate and I don’t expect them to sit back,” Mosimane added.

The 52-year-old tactician has also emphasised the need for his team to remain calm and not to be overawed on the night.

“You mustn’t be emotional about what is in front of you‚ you must look at the bigger picture‚” Mosimane said.

“And the bigger picture is for us to try and qualify for the last eight and hopefully when we do that‚ we will get all our (injured) players back.

“It’s not about being emotional against Esperance‚ because if you do that you lose focus on the bigger plot. And the bigger plot is the whole group and to keep going and make sure we are going to the quarterfinals,” Mosimane concluded.