Arrows face Sundowns test

Arrows face Sundowns test
Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Romario Dlamini of Golden Arrows during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Golden Arrows and Mamelodi Sundowns at the Prince Magogo Stadium, South Africa on 28 April 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Dec 08, 2017. 11:30

Golden Arrows will face a test of their mettle in the Absa Premiership when they host Mamelodi Sundowns at Princess Magogo Stadium on 10 December 2017, kick-off at 15h30.

Arrows have gone eight league matches without a win after they were beaten 2-1 at Free State Stars on December 6. The Durban side’s last three-pointer was a 1-0 triumph at Platinum Stars in mid-September - since then they have taken just six points from a possible 24.

Abafana Bes’thende do at least boast an unbeaten home record this season, though four of their five games as hosts have ended in draws. The latest such example was a 2-2 draw at home to Cape Town City on November 25 in which they threw away a two-goal lead.

Sundowns have been in fine form in the league of late, with their 4-0 win over Baroka FC on December 5 securing a haul of 10 points from the last 12 up for grabs. It was also the first home win for the Tshwane side this season, having suffered surprise defeats in Tshwane at the hands of Polokwane City, Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu.

The Brazilians have been superb away from home so far in 2017/18, claiming a total of 16 points from a possible 18. The only team to host Pitso Mosimane’s side and avoid defeat was Chippa United, who held them to a goalless draw two rounds ago.

In head-to-head stats, Arrows and Sundowns have met in 32 league matches since 2000/01. The Brazilians have claimed 15 wins compared to nine for Abafana Bes’thende, while eight matches have been drawn. The Durban side has won seven of their 16 home matches against ‘Downs, suffering seven defeats in the process.

Last season Sundowns claimed a league ‘double’ over Arrows, winning 3-0 at home in the first half of the season and 2-0 away in the return game. Abafana Bes’thende have scored just two goals in their last six matches against the Brazilians.

Arrows’ line-up from their 2-1 loss to Stars on December 6: Gumede, Dube, Mngwengwe, Mathiane, Nonyane (Lamola 55’), Cele, Molefe (Jooste 61’), Mahachi, Magubane (Ntanga 80’), Nkombelo, Mutizwa.

Sundowns’ line-up from their 4-0 win over Baroka on December 5: Onyango, Langerman, Soumahoro (Arendse 39'), Morena, Madisha, Billiat (Zakri 81') Kekana, Mabunda, Vilakazi (Lebese 67') Zwane, Tau.

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