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Mamelodi Sundowns

Will former Mamelodi Sundowns winger Mbatha come back to bite Brazilians?

16:03 SAST 2021/05/08
Mbongeni Gumede AmaZulu Lindokuhle Mbatha TS Galaxy
The Brazilians go into the game sitting on top of the log with 54 points, four above the only team seemingly capable of catching them, AmaZulu

Lindokuhle Mbatha has been TS Galaxy's top scorer in the league this season and has the potential to dent Mamelodi Sundowns' title hopes when the two teams meet at the Mbombela Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

With Usuthu in such sparkling form under Benni McCarthy, it's unlikely that Sundowns can afford to drop too many points in their last five matches of the season.

And they'll certainly need to be wary of Owen Da Gama's TS Galaxy side, who are in decent form having won their last two matches to consolidate their top eight spot.

The PSL newcomers - Galaxy bought out former top-flight side Highlands Park ahead of the current season - have not been particularly prolific in the striking department; their league success has more been based on a tight defence.

And so the goals which have been scored have been especially important. And it's Mbatha - along with former Bidvest Wits striker Mxolisi Macuphu - who have led the way with five goals each in the league, with Mbatha playing primarily as a right-wing.

At 35 years old he's theoretically reached veteran status, although his age is not noticeable on the field and he has lost barely any of his legendary pace, and has been in great form.

Certainly, Mbatha is the kind of player who can settle a tight game with a moment of individual brilliance, and it won't be surprising if fate decides it's his day on Sunday, playing against his former team.

Mbatha spent just one a season with Downs and only played 10 matches. That was all of six years ago and while he may no longer feel he has a point to prove, a goal against his former employers would surely be sweet.

On the flip side, in-form Sundowns striker Peter Shalulile will be up against several of his former Highlands Park teammates - last season the Namibian ended as the PSL's joint-top goalscorer while playing for the Lions of the North.

He's currently got 10 league goals - three behind the league's leading marksman Bradley Grobler and therefore has extra personal motivation for scoring on Sunday.

For the team, a goal or two and a win would move them a step closer to the title, more so when considering that Masandawana have played a game fewer than AmaZulu.