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Mamelodi Sundowns v Al Ahly

Will Mamelodi Sundowns' unimpressive home record count against them against Al Ahly?

1:24 PM GMT 04/04/2019
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane, March 2019
Masandawana might struggle at home domestically but they have to be at their very best in the Caf Champions League against the Red Devils this weekend

Anticipation continues to build as two giants of African football collide this weekend.

Mamelodi Sundowns versus Al Ahly is a rivalry that started in the early 2000s with the Egyptian’s beating the Brazilians to the continent’s most lucrative inter-club crown.

However, Sundowns then had a shot at redemption in 2007 with a place in the group stage at stake, but again it was Al Ahly, who asserted their authority.

Nonetheless, once again the Tshwane giants have an opportunity at redemption, this time with a place in the tournament’s final four at stake.

Sundowns though don’t boast the best of home records domestically, which should be a worry for Pitso Mosimane and his team as they turn their focus to this weekend’s clash against the Red Devils which will be held at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Tshwane.

Masandawana have won just four games at home this entire season in the league, and in African football, it is widely believed that winning home games are essential in terms of progression. But while they have struggled at home in the league, in the Caf Champions League, they have been far more confident and impressive.

In this year’s competition, Sundowns have won all of their home games which included wins against some notable teams in Wydad Casablanca and Asec Mimosas.

The win against Wydad, in particular, is of utmost importance considering the similarities between them and Sundowns’ upcoming opponents.

Just like Wydad, Al Ahly are not the best of travellers, and it will be interesting to see how Mosimane sets his side up.

The Caf African Club of the Century have not won an away game on the continent since September of 2018. This is certainly not good enough for a club who have conquered the continent on eight occasions.

Nevertheless, the stars are potentially aligning for Sundowns as they look to secure their second star.

A victory by a healthy margin is also key. Al Ahly find themselves at this stage of the competition thanks to their exploits in Cairo, and even a slender lead will put Sundowns under pressure to find the back of the net in Egypt.

The ball is in Sundowns’ court but it’s important that they take advantage of every single reprieve thrown their way as against a club such as Al Ahly second chances are few and far in between.