There will be a lot riding when AmaZulu and Mamelodi Sundowns lock horns at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Wednesday.
Both teams come from registering morale-sapping losses, and they will want to use the match to bounce back to winning ways.
Usuthu crushed out of the Carling Knockout Cup competition when they were beaten 3-0 by a determined TS Galaxy in the semi-finals on Sunday.
Sundowns’ ambition of advancing to the last four of the CAF Champions League was dealt a blow after they lost 1-0 to TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi on Saturday.
After two rounds of matches, the Brazilians are still leading the table with three points via a goal difference.
Sundowns midfield workhorse Sphelele Mkhulise said they want to use the match against wounded Usuthu to regain confidence.
Extending the gap
Even though they have a number of games still to play, Sundowns want to stretch their lead and consolidate a stay at the summit of the log.
“We are expecting a difficult game against AmaZulu because they didn’t have a good game over the weekend, so they will want to go all out and deliver an exceptional performance,” said Mkhulise.
“We are also ready for the challenge, as we also did not achieve the expected results over the weekend.
“We want to stretch the gap when it comes to points in the league. There are a few teams that are slightly behind us, so we will try to ensure that they don’t surpass us.
“Their [AmaZulu] run has not been that great in the league, so heading into this encounter, they will want to go all out and redeem themselves by beating us.
“They are also playing at home, which will boost their confidence. We will, however, not allow them to walk away with the three points, because we are also looking to collect the maximum points.”
He said the Brazilians are aware that Usuthu’s striker, Sede Dion, has been doing very well and scoring goals for the club.
“So, he is the one player we have to pay close attention to. We ask our beautiful Sundowns supporters to come out in numbers at the stadium tomorrow to support us.
“We will make sure that you watch a beautiful game of football, the shoe, shine and piano, and win this encounter for you.”