17 December 2008

United up against a wounded Downs side

Having only picked up two points out of a possible 12, Mamelodi Sundowns are a team becoming increasingly desperate to find form.

This may, or may not work to Marizburg United’s advantage as the two sides clash at the Super Stadium tonight.

Downs have lost their last two games at the Super Stadium, 2-0 to Platinum Stars and 1-0 against Moroka Swallows.

For United coach Gordon Igesund, this disarray provides a double-edged sword as he will look to exploit Downs’ confusion, but he also admits to the Pretoria team’s star quality and says he is wary of a backlash.

“With all the confusion at Sundowns we don’t know exactly whom Michel will play.

“He doesn’t seem to have settled on his line-up, so we’ve concentrated on preparing ourselves. Once I’ve seen their line-up I can adapt, because I know their players,” said Igesund, who coached Sundowns to the 2006/07 league title.

United have two matches until the Christmas break – they host Thanda Royal Zulu in their final fixture on Sunday – and would like to get at least four points from those, though six would leave the PMB team on a healthy 19 points from 13 games.

Igesund hinted his side might opt for an attacking game-plan tonight.

“We need to put Downs on the back foot from the start. We had to dig deep in our last two games, and it might not have been pretty. But the guys have been knocking the ball around in training again.”

United have defensive midfielder John Arwuah back from injury. Central defender Siphiwe Mkhonza is suspended and United will have to do a patch-up job at left-back, where Elias Ngwepe is bound in his contract from playing against his former team, and natural replacement Gary Goldstone remains injured.

Sundowns have Dario Monteiro back from injury and Siboniso Gaxa from suspension. Katlego Mphela and Robyn Johannes are suspended.

The match will be televised live on Supersport 3.

+ Article courtesy of Marc Strydom and the Witness. Edited by the MUFC website