Sundowns look to end 2017 on a high

Sundowns look to end 2017 on a high
Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns evades challenge from Aubrey Ngoma of Cape Town City FC during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 football match between Cape Town City FC and Mamelodi Sundowns at Athlone Stadium, Cape Town on 3 March 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Monday Dec 18, 2017. 13:33

Mamelodi Sundowns will look to end off 2017 with an even stronger grip on first place in the Absa Premiership when they host Cape Town City at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on 19 December, kick-off at 19h30.

Sundowns have put together a seven-match unbeaten run in which they have claimed 19 points from a possible 21 to power to the top of the log. Arguably their best performance in the sequence arrived in their last outing, a 4-1 home thrashing of Bloemfontein Celtic on December 16.

The Brazilians have a 50-50 record at home this season, with three wins and three defeats from six matches. However, their last three turns as hosts have brought them a hat-trick of victories with an aggregate score of 9-1.

City ended a four-match winless streak in the league by defeating AmaZulu 1-0 at home on December 15, with Roland Putsche scoring the goal. Despite the victory, the Cape side have taken just nine points from a possible 24 since the start of October.

The Citizens have been unpredictable away from home this season, with two wins, two draws and two defeats from their six matches on the road. Their last two away matches have produced draws against Golden Arrows (in which they fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2) and SuperSport United (in which they conceded a late equaliser to be held 1-1).

In head-to-head stats, Sundowns and City have met in just two previous league matches. Both encounters took place last season, with the Citizens claiming a league ‘double’ over ‘Downs by winning 2-1 in Tshwane and 1-0 in Cape Town - all three of their goals were scored by Lebogang Manyama.

Sundowns’ line-up from their 4-1 win over Celtic on December 16: Onyango, Morena, Arendse, Madisha, Hachi, Manyisa, Kekana (Ngcongca 82’), Mabunda, T. Zwane, Sekotlong (Zakri 65’), Tau (Lebese 86’).

City’s line-up from their 1-0 win over AmaZulu on December 15: Stephens, Mkhize, Johannes, Seedat, Fielies, Nodada, Putsche, Martin (Akosah-Bempah 84'), Ngoma (Lakay 76'), Masina, Obinna (Modise 65`).

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