Sundowns out to avoid third straight home loss

Sundowns out to avoid third straight home loss
Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Siphiwe Tshabalala of Kaizer Chiefs during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs at Loftus Versveld Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa on 17 October 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Oct 20, 2017. 08:45

Mamelodi Sundowns will look to avoid a third straight home loss in the Absa Premiership when they welcome AmaZulu to Lucas Moripe Stadium on 21 October 2017, kick-off at 20h15.

Sundowns come into the game having lost 2-1 at home to Kaizer Chiefs on October 17. The defeat, which saw Pitso Mosimane’s men end the match with 10 men following the sending off of midfielder Tiyani Mabunda, was their second in the league this season.

It was also their second home loss, having been beaten by the same score against Polokwane City back in August. The Brazilians will look to rectify their home form as quickly as possible, with away wins over SuperSport United, Free State Stars and Platinum Stars ample proof that they remain one of the league’s top teams.

AmaZulu continued their inconsistent start to the season as they lost a 3-2 thriller at home to Polokwane City on October 18. The Durban side saw another goal for striker Rhulani Manzini (his fourth in the last three matches), but they need their defence to step up a gear or two.

Usuthu have played just two away matches this season and lost them both: 0-2 at Chippa United in August and 1-4 at Golden Arrows in September.

In head-to-head stats, Sundowns and AmaZulu have met in 53 league matches since 1985. The Brazilians have claimed 35 wins compared to just six for Usuthu, while 12 matches have been drawn. The Tshwane side has won 16 of their 26 home matches in the rivalry, suffering four defeats in the process.

The teams last met in the league in the 2014/15 season, with ‘Downs completing a league ‘double’: the Tshwane side won 2-0 at home in the first half of the campaign and 1-0 in the return game in Durban, with Cuthbert Malajila scoring all three goals. The Brazilians are unbeaten in their last nine league matches against Usuthu, including their current streak of four straight wins.

Sundowns’ line-up from their 2-1 loss to Chiefs on October 17: Onyango, Langerman, Arendse (Lebese 86'), Morena, Madisha, Mabunda, Kekana, Billiat (Malajila 83'), Zwane, Vilakazi (Manyisa 52'), Tau.

AmaZulu’s line-up from their 3-2 loss to Polokwane on October 18: S.Mbatha, M.Gumede, Mtsweni, Mngqibisa, Ouro-Akoriko (C), Darpoh (Mnguni 84'), Ncube, B.Mbatha (Nomvethe 60'), Ncobeni, Cele, Manzini (Ntsundwana 84').

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