Sundowns look to continue imperious form

Sundowns look to continue imperious form
Bangaly Soumahoro of Mamelodi Sundowns FC celebrate scoring

by Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Dec 12, 2017. 12:00

Mamelodi Sundowns will be looking to continue their imperious form in the Absa Premiership when they host Maritzburg United at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on 13 December 2017, kick-off at 19h30.

Sundowns defeated Golden Arrows 1-0 away from home on December 10 to claim a fourth win from their last five league matches - a sequence of results which has brought them 13 points from a possible 15 and has seen them surge to the top of the log despite playing three fewer games than second-placed Orlando Pirates.

The Brazilians have claimed just one win from four home matches this season, but given that they thrashed Baroka FC 4-0 in their last game in Tshwane, it appears that Pitso Mosimane’s team have thrown off their early-season struggles in home games.

Maritzburg claimed a second successive impressive league win when they defeated Baroka FC 3-0 at home on December 8, with Evans Rusike netting a brace and Siphelele Ndlovu scoring for the second game in a row. After going eight matches without a win (and scoring just one goal in the process), the KwaZulu-Natal club’s change in form has been sudden and emphatic.

The Team of Choice has claimed nine points from six away matches so far this season, while their last game on the road produced a 4-2 victory over Cape Town City (though the game was played in Maritzburg’s home province due to a lack of available venues in the drought-hit Western Cape).

In head-to-head stats, Sundowns and Maritzburg have met in 22 league matches since 2005/06. The Brazilians have claimed 14 wins compared to three for the Team of Choice, while five matches have been drawn. The Tshwane side has claimed seven wins from 11 home matches against United, suffering just one defeat in the process.

Last season the teams played to draws in both of their league meetings: 0-0 in Pietermaritzburg in the first half of the season and 2-2 in the return game in Tshwane. ‘Downs are unbeaten in their last nine league matches against Maritzburg, though five of those have been draws.

Sundowns’ line-up from their 1-0 win over Arrows on December 10: Onyango, Langerman, Soumahoro, Morena, Madisha, Manyisa, Kekana, Mabunda, Vilakazi (Sekotlong 87'), Zwane (Zakri 78'), Tau.

Maritzburg’s line-up from their 3-0 win over Baroka on December 8: Ofori, Sanoka, Xulu, Fransman, Shandu (Mandela 45'), Maboe, Ndlovu, Mekoa, Makaringe, Rusike (Atouba 78'), Mokate (Fileccia 72').

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