Sundowns look to close in on title glory

Sundowns look to close in on title glory
Percy Tau of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Edwin Gyimah of Bidvest Wits during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits at Loftus Stadium, Pretoria on 14 April 2018 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Apr 17, 2018. 09:28

Mamelodi Sundowns will look to take a major step toward claiming the Absa Premiership title when they host Golden Arrows at Loftus Versfeld Stadium for a catch-up match on 17 April 2018, kick-off at 19h30.

Sundowns picked up a fourth successive league win – and extended their unbeaten run to nine matches – with a 2-0 home victory over Bidvest Wits on April 14. The Tshwane side’s goals were netted by Themba Zwane and Sibusiso Vilakazi.

The Brazilians have claimed 20 points from 13 home matches this season, and are unbeaten as hosts since they lost 3-1 against Orlando Pirates in mid-January.

Arrows played to their 13th draw of the season when they were held 1-1 at home by Free State Stars on April 7. The Durban side has won just two of their last nine league matches for a haul of 10 points from a possible 27 in the sequence.

Abafana Bes’thende have claimed 15 points from 13 away matches this season, with their last result on the road a 1-0 win at Cape Town City on April 4.

In head-to-head stats, Arrows and Sundowns have met in 33 league matches since 2000/01. The Brazilians have claimed 16 wins compared to nine for Abafana Bes’thende, while eight matches have been drawn. The Tshwane side has won eight of their 16 home matches against their Durban counterparts, suffering two defeats in the process.

When the teams met earlier this season, ‘Downs claimed a 1-0 away win in December 2017 thanks to an early goal from Bangaly Soumahoro. The Brazilians have won their last three successive matches against Abafana Bes’thende without conceding a single goal.

Sundowns’ line-up from their 2-0 win over Wits in April 14: Onyango, Ngcongca, Nascimento, Arendse, Langerman, Kekana, Mabunda, Sirino (Manyisa 76’), Vilakazi (Morena 58’), T. Zwane, Tau.

Arrows’ line-up from their 1-1 draw with Stars on April 7: Mbaeva, Mzava, Mathiane, Mngwengwe (Magubane 61’), Nkombelo, Bilankulu, Zuke (Jooste 63’), Shongwe, Venter, Lamola, Ndwandwe.

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