The Tshwane giants face off against a struggling Maritzburg United who are winless in their last 10 games in all competitions, and new coach Muhsin Ertugral will hope to turn his side’s fortunes around as they reside at the bottom of the league table.
However, it won’t be easy for the Pietermaritzburg-based outfit, as Sundowns have a stellar record to maintain as not only are they undefeated in the league this season but are on a 26-game unbeaten run.
This should throw up an intriguing affair at Loftus Versfeld Stadium as Sundowns will also be keen on keeping up the chase on the PSL’s log leaders Bidvest Wits.
|Game||Mamelodi Sundowns v Maritzburg United|
|Date||Wednesday, January 16|
TV Channel, Live Score & How To Watch
The match will be live on SS7. You can also catch live updates on Goal.com .
|Live Match Centre||TV Channel|
Squads & Team News
Ahead of the clash, Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane would certainly have focused on recovery. After making the gruelling journey back from Nigeria, the 54-year-old mentor might look to make a few changes in order to keep his side fresh.
Jeremy Brockie, who did not travel for the Champions League clash due to suspension, is likely to return to the starting XI, playing alongside the club’s top scorer in the league Lebohang Maboe and playmaker Gaston Sirino, who has taken the league by storm this season, filling the void left by the injured Sibusiso Vilakazi.
Meanwhile, Sundowns are likely to keep faith in the defensive trio of Mosa Lebusa, Ricardo Nascimento and Rivaldo Coetzee, as they look to build on a defensive record that has seen them concede just eight goals this season.
On the side of Maritzburg though, it is certainly not in defence where Ertugral has to worry.
The Team of Choice have kept the same number of clean sheets as Sundowns this season (seven), while at the same time have conceded just 14 goals in 16 games.
Rather it is upfront where there is great concern.
Maritzburg have netted just six goals this season with Fortune Makaringe their dangerman having provided two assists alongside Deolin Mekoa. But Maritzburg are evidently a bit light in the striking department.
While Yannick Zakri may have resurfaced at Maritzburg after going AWOL, it remains to be seen if he still has a future at the club. But new signing Thabiso Kutumela will be expected to hit the ground running after completing his transfer from Orlando Pirates, and could immediately be drafted into the starting XI.
This is a clash that is filled with history considering that both clubs have met on 27 occasions. Sundowns have been dominant as they have won 15 of those games to Maritzburg’s six.
But while Maritzburg have had the better of Sundowns in cup competitions in recent times, they have to look back to 2012 when they last got one over Sundowns which makes the home side clear favourites on paper.