While Sundowns have been on a formidable run in the Premier Soccer league (PSL) having not tasted defeat in 23 previous games, their recent record in Cup tournaments has not been the greatest.
Already this season, Sundowns have crashed out of the MTN8 and Telkom Knockout Cup as well as the previous edition of the Champions League.
Nonetheless, the 2016 African champions will have a point to prove and will hope to start their campaign in the best possible fashion, with a healthy win to take into the second leg of their preliminary round tie.
|Game||Leones Vegetarianos v Mamelodi Sundowns|
|Date||Wednesday, November 28|
|Time||15:00 SA Time|
TV Channel, Live Score & How To Watch
|Live Match Centre||TV Channel|
Squads & Team News
However, Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has the unenviable task of finding balance in his selection.
Following the conclusion of the first leg, the Tshwane giants will return to SA for the final and will have just a day or two to prepare for their Tshwane Derby clash against SuperSport United.
This is likely to see some of the senior players rested, although depth is certainly not one of Mosimane’s worries. The 54-year-old has an abundance of talent at his disposal and no matter what kind of team he does field, they will be good enough to achieve.
Gaston Sirino though, could have a major role to play. With Sibusiso Vilakazi out injured and Sundowns having parted ways with Khama Billiat and Percy Tau during the off season, the Uruguayan has come to the fore.
Sirino has scored four goals in domestic competitions this season and in the previous edition of the Champions League managed two goals making him a major threat.
While not much will be known of Vegetarianos, who are the Equatorial Guinean champions, Sundowns will almost certainly rely on the experience of the likes of Toni Silva and Jeremy Brockie. The attacking duo will hope to have got the lay of the land and adapted to the conditions at the Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyín by the time the game kick-off.
Meanwhile, it is worth noting that Sundowns jetted out to the Central African nation on Friday but arrived 39 hours later.
Despite the lengthy journey Sundowns will hope that they have had enough time to acclimatise and familiarise themselves with the surroundings.
Vegetarianos are a relatively new club having been founded in 2000, but have since been on the rise making them a dangerous and unpredictable opponent heading into the clash.