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Can Golden Arrows complete league and cup double over Mamelodi Sundowns?

16:49 GMT 20/11/2019
Lyle Lakay of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Seth Parusnath of Golden Arrows, November 2019
Goal discusses whether Abafana Bes'thende can complete a league and cup double over Masandawana

Mamelodi Sundowns will be baying for blood in their revenge match against Lamontville Golden Arrows on Saturday.

The two PSL teams are set to square off in the 2019 Telkom Knockout Cup semi-final clash in the city of Durban.

Masandawana are coming into the encounter wounded as they were defeated 3-2 by Abafana Bes'thende in a league match just before the international break.

This then begs the question - can Arrows complete a league and cup double over a much-fancied Sundowns side?

Arrows Have Psychological Edge

Arrows are holding a psychological edge over the defending league champions due to their win in the last meeting between the two teams.

Masandawana will be heading back to Abafaba Bes'thende's slaughterhouse, Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium, where Pitso Mosimane's men struggled on a soaked pitch 11 days ago. 

Arrows are undefeated at home this season in seven competitive matches having recorded two draws and five wins, including the victory over Polokwane City in extra-time in the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals.

Steve Komphela's men also showed mental strength to come back from 1-0 down to win the thrilling match.

The former Kaizer Chiefs coach has instilled character and determination in his players which makes the KwaZulu-based side a difficult team to beat, especially at home.

Returning Players Give Downs Advantage

Although Sundowns took the lead against Arrows and they were 1-0 up at the interval, they missed their key players in the second half.

Team captain Hlompho Kekana, attacking midfielders Themba Zwane and Gaston Sirino missed the match due to injuries.

However, the Tshwane giants have been boosted by the availability of Kekana and Sirino, while Zwane is expected to miss the cup game as he continues to nurse his injury.

Sundowns struggled defensively against Abafana's Bes'thende without the influential Kekana, who usually gives protection to the Brazilians' defence and stops forward passes from the opposition.

The experienced midfield general is also a threat going forward - his trademark long-range goals and his return has come as a timely boost for the Brazilians - who also missed his leadership on the pitch against Arrows.

In Sirino, the Brazilians have one of the best attackers in the country and the team lost him at the time when he was hitting form, having netted four goals in four competitive games.

Sundowns missed his creativity and killer instinct in front of goal in Durban with his void having been filled young attacker Sphesihle Mkhulise, who could not make any impact.

The returning duo will give Sundowns the edge over Arrows as they have proved time and again that they have the ability to single-handedly inspire the team to a victory.