The Tshwane giants would have welcomed an extra day’s rest due to their recent elimination from the Nedbank Cup, and they have had adequate time to recuperate from their trip to Abidjan in the Caf Champions League.
However, it’s now back to the PSL, and with a clash against Polokwane City, it does not get any easier for the defending champions.
With the potential to move level on points with log leaders Bidvest Wits, Sundowns will jump at the opportunity especially as they have shown impressive consistency and endurance in the league.
For Rise and Shine, they have dropped off the boil of late following a string of disappointing results, but they have proven that they can beat Sundowns in the past considering that they did the double over them last season.
|Mamelodi Sundowns vs. Polokwane City|
|Date||Tuesday, February 19|
TV Channel, Live Score & How To Watch
The match will be televised on SuperSport 4. You can also catch live updates on Goal.com .
|Live Match Centre||TV Channel|
Squads & Team News
Meanwhile, when it comes to coach Pitso Mosimane’s line-up, it is unlikely that there will be many changes.
The Sundowns mentor does not enjoy rotating his squad and with the stakes high, the Tshwane giants will take nothing for granted.
Sundowns will once again count on Lebohang Maboe, who has been one of their most impressive players to date, scoring five goals in the league, he is club’s top scorer and his link-up play with South American playmaker Gaston Sirino could be devastating for the Polokwane City defence, which has conceded 22 goals in 18 games.
Mosimane is also yet to field Emiliano Tade from the start since he completed his move from AmaZulu, but one can’t help but think that his opportunity is nearing.
At the back, Denis Onyango is once again expected to be between the sticks after returning for the Champions League clash against Asec Mimosas while Rivaldo Coetzee, who started on the bench, perhaps could be drafted in to marshal the defence alongside the experienced Ricardo Nascimento.
On the side of Polokwane City, coach Jozef Vukusic will call upon the evergreen Jabulani Maluleke. The veteran continues to be one of the league’s most dangerous playmakers and has contributed five assists.
But one player, who has been a thorn in Sundowns’ flesh in the past was Rodney Ramagalela, but the former Sundowns hitman is unlikely to feature after reportedly being frozen out by the club and having signed a pre-contract with Highlands Park.
Nonetheless, the club does have Bongile Booi as well as Walter Musona, who are proven goalscorers having netted three goals apiece this season contributing to the club’s 23 league goal tally.
This will be just the 15th meeting between the two sides in all competitions. Sundowns have won seven to Polokwane City’s five.
Masandawana have already beaten the Polokwane-based outfit once this season courtesy of a 2-0 scoreline which should give Mosimane’s men much confidence heading into the match.
But an interesting stat is Sundowns have failed to claim maximum points against Polokwane City in Tshwane since 2015, meaning that the home side could be in for a tough encounter at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.