In 34 previous meetings between the two sides in all competitions, there have been 68 goals that have been scored between them, and Goal looks at which of the two coaches has the deadliest attack.
With players such as Khama Billiat and Percy Tau having departed, coincidentally with the former having joined Amakhosi, Masandawana would appear to have been severely weakened.
However, this does not seem to be the case as Sundowns’ depth has been telling. Gaston Sirino has been a revelation this season, scoring six goals in all competitions. His contribution has bared the brunt of the Tshwane giant’s attacking threat, but the contributions of Lebohang Maboe, Toni Silva and Jeremy Brockie among others cannot be underestimated.
While many of Sundowns’ attackers are yet to hit their stride, it should be noted that they all are match winners in their own right, if they can find their best form.
But worryingly for Sundowns and perhaps luckily for Chiefs, the Brazilians have been guilty of squandering good opportunities particularly in the Premier Soccer League (PSL).
Sundowns have managed just 14 goals in 12 league games, which averages just over one goal a game. This is hardly convincing considering the calibre of players that Pitso Mosimane has at his disposal.
This stat clearly shows the void that has been left with the departure of Sundowns’ attacking duo and also the absence of Sibusiso Vilakazi, who has also been one of Mosimane trusted soldiers but has missed out on a healthy part of the current campaign through injury.
Nonetheless, although Sundowns undoubtedly have the talent, their consistency does impact their conversion ratio.
Meanwhile, on the other end, Chiefs’ attack seems to have a bit of the X-factor about it. When considered that both Billiat and Lebogang Manyama have been the league’s top marksmen in the past and have been worthy winners of the PSL Footballer of the Season award. This should delight Chiefs fans who have not had much to smile about in recent times.
Billiat has certainly found his form already topping Chiefs' goalscoring charts in the league, Manyama though is yet to find his feet. In addition, another player who was once a sensation at Sundowns is Leonardo Castro.
The Colombian who is now on the books of the Soweto giants offers Chiefs a proverbial ‘plan B’. This is something that a tactician such as Ernst Middendorp may thrive on utilising.
Castro allows Chiefs to be more physical and his familiarity with his Zimbabwean teammate, Billiat, makes their attacking threat even more deadly. Also, the impact of Dumisani Zuma, ‘Dax’, George Maluleka and Philani Zulu, who has found himself in more advanced positions of late, is something to take note of.
While it is apparent that both sides have attacks that are worthy of challenging for trophies, Chiefs seem to tip the scales ever so slightly. Having both Manyama and Billiat in attack is a luxury that not many coaches can boast to have, making the German a rather lucky man.
Both players are capable of creating and finishing and even if they are not successful, there is always Castro, who even Middendorp agrees is best when he is in front of the goal.
This is slightly contrasting compared to Sundowns who have a promising attack but don’t necessarily have that will to win ‘dirty’ and take the game by the scruff of the neck.
If they had that then they would have someone to complement their gluttony of talent. Brockie was expected to be this player but he is yet to find any real consistency despite the signs being there, and Phakamani Mahlambi, who is seen as the future has all the potential, but it will be some time before he hits his stride and bangs in goals on a more consistent basis.