Mamelodi Sundowns may only be starting their Premier Soccer League (PSL) title defence this weekend, but they will be headed directly into the cauldron.
On Saturday, the Brazilians will come up against Kaizer Chiefs in one of the most highly anticipated encounters on the South African football calendar.
This will be the second meeting between the two sides in the space of just a few weeks, after the Tshwane giants recently beat Chiefs 2-1 in the Shell Helix Ultra Cup.
This has led Sundowns to being seen as clear favourites on paper, and Chiefs’ pre-season form has certainly done little to change that.
However, while Sundowns may possess the favourites tag, Sundowns star Hlompho Kekana, is adamant that it will not mean much once the two teams take to the field.
“I love the game because it’s not based on how people see it and who are favourites,” Kekana was quoted as saying by IOL.
“It’s all about who pitches on match-day. That prospect excites me. We have to apply ourselves well on the match and if we do that, we stand a good chance of winning,” Kekana added.
Although, Chiefs may not have experienced the same success as Sundowns in recent times, Kekana remains wary.
Chiefs have been hard at work attempting to bring back the glory days and will look at the signing of former Sundowns talisman Khama Billiat as a signal of intent.
“The expectations are very high from both teams because Chiefs isn’t just any ordinary team. They are a big team and a powerhouse in South African football,” Kekana said.
“When we play them, we always get this extra motivation because we’re not on the same level. If we play as underdogs, it would be a nice tag for us,” Kekana expressed.
Sundowns though, will be very confident going into the clash following their victory over Togo-Port last week.