Sundowns out to stretch their lead

Sundowns out to stretch their lead
Mamelodi Sundowns players warming up

by Helder Ribiero

Tuesday Apr 06, 2021. 09:00

DStv Premiership leaders Mamelodi Sundowns will have the chance to move six points clear at the top of the table when they face hosts Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in one of two matches played on Tuesday 6 April.

The Brazilians were in CAF Champions League action this past weekend, playing to a 0-0 draw away to Al Hilal in Sudan on Friday night. In their absence, second-placed Golden Arrows had the chance to close to within a point of the top of the DStv Premiership log, but conceded a late equaliser to be held 1-1 at Swallows FC on Saturday.

‘Downs will now look to make their closest chasers pay for that mistake and open up a significant lead (and still have two games in hand after today) by winning at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

TTM, meanwhile, have struggled for form of late and have dropped into the relegation playoff zone, though they have been boosted by news that Dylan Kerr has taken up the reins as head coach. However, he will not be registered with the league in time to be on the bench for this clash against ‘Downs.

Later on Tuesday, Kaizer Chiefs will look to continue building momentum when they host Stellenbosch FC at FNB Stadium. The Amakhosi have recorded back-to-back wins (albeit separated by the international break) over Orlando Pirates in the DStv Premiership and Wydad Casablanca in the Champions League weekend – with the latter result arriving despite the Soweto ending the game with nine men.

Placed a lowly ninth on the log, Chiefs could certainly use another win to boost their push for a top-eight finish, with coach Gavin Hunt seeing a “mental turnaround” in his players of late.

“There was a huge setback after what happened last season [Chiefs lost the league title on the final day]. There was a huge mental meltdown. I think sometimes they [players] need time away from the game, which they haven’t had. If you understand football, sometimes less is better. We need a few days just not to train, to get away,” said Hunt in the wake of the win over Wydad.

“But slowly and surely I see a mental turnaround in the team and that is important and we expect that every week. I can understand the huge setback from last season when we got so close. We now need a good mental attitude.”

The scheduled match between Orlando Pirates and Maritzburg United on Wednesday 7 April has been postponed.

DStv Premiership midweek fixtures

Tuesday 6 April

15:00: Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila v Mamelodi Sundowns

17:00: Kaizer Chiefs v Stellenbosch FC

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