Tuesday Oct 19, 2021. 10:00
Mamelodi Sundowns will look to re-establish a four-point lead at the top of South Africa’s DStv Premiership when four midweek catch-up games are played on Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 October.
‘Downs saw their lead cut to one point this past weekend by Tshwane rivals SuperSport United, with the Brazilians away on CAF Champions League duty: they drew 2-2 away to DR Congo’s AS Maniema Union in the first leg of a second preliminary round tie.
Sundowns will face a tricky test in Durban on Wednesday afternoon when they tackle hosts Golden Arrows at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium.
Abafana Bes’thende are unbeaten at home in the league this season and looking to avenge a loss to ‘Downs in the MTN8 semifinals, while coach Lehlohonolo Seema says he is happy to see their defending improve in recent times.
“What is more important is that we took a lead and we managed to defend it until the last minute,” said Seema of their 3-1 win over Marumo Gallants earlier in the month.
“That thing that we are thinking we can’t do – to defend to the end of the game. This shows that we can. We know scoring goals is not going to be a problem, but our Achilles heel has been that we are not defending well.”
Wednesday also sees Orlando Pirates – fresh from a 0-0 draw away to Diables Noirs in the CAF Confederation Cup this past weekend – looking to condemn Maritzburg United to a hat-trick of league defeats when they meet at Harry Gwala Stadium.
The midweek action opens on Tuesday with Marumo Gallants facing Royal AM, the controversial club which took over the status of Bloemfontein Celtic and has enjoyed a stunning run of form in recent weeks, racking up four successive league wins.
Gallants, themselves a takeover club (which assumed the status of Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila), have yet to win this season, and the same can be said of TS Galaxy, who will be at home to Benni McCarthy’s AmaZulu in Tuesday’s second clash.
Usuthu have found form after a wobbly start to the season and proved their pedigree at even a continental level by holding DRC heavyweights TP Mazembe 0-0 in Durban last Friday.
DStv Premiership midweek fixtures
Tuesday 19 October
15:30: Marumo Gallants v Royal AM
17:30: TS Galaxy v AmaZulu
Wednesday 20 October
15:30: Golden Arrows v Mamelodi Sundowns
17:30: Maritzburg United v Orlando Pirates