Tuesday Apr 20, 2021. 08:54
AmaZulu will look to become the first team to defeat Mamelodi Sundowns in the DStv Premiership this season when the teams meet in Durban on Wednesday 21 April, in one of six matches played across South Africa’s top flight this midweek.
Usuthu are the form team of the league, having put together a hot streak of six straight wins (and a run of 12 unbeaten matches), making them the likeliest candidates to hand the Brazilians a first league loss of the season.
‘Downs, though, will come into the clash stinging from a shock penalty shootout defeat to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in the Nedbank Cup semifinals this past weekend and will be determined not to see another stumble on such short notice.
Another interesting wrinkle in the narrative of this match is Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi claiming that he recommended Benni McCarthy – the man who has turned AmaZulu into the fearsome unit they are now – to the Durban club.
“Speak to the boss of AmaZulu and ask him who recommended Benni,” Mngqithi explained. “We have got a really good talking relationship and we are close to each other. My wish is to see those who are showing signs of commitment and passion succeeding. South Africa needs coaches, Mandla has stamped his authority and what Benni is doing with AmaZulu, I am more than impressed. Even Benni might not even know that I am the one who recommended him.”
The midweek opens on Tuesday afternoon with Chippa United desperate for three points to lift themselves away from the relegation zone when they host Baroka FC, before Bloemfontein Celtic and Swallows renew their rivalry at Dr Molemela Stadium.
Wednesday sees bottom-of-the-log Black Leopards host Stellenbosch FC at the same time that AmaZulu and Sundowns meet at the Kings Park Stadium, while the early-evening games feature SuperSport United looking to arrest their slump in form when they host Golden Arrows, and both Kaizer Chiefs and Cape Town City will be aiming for a momentum-building win when they meet at FNB Stadium in Soweto.