Five reasons why Sundowns will beat SuperSport again - Times LIVE
   
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Sun Apr 30 05:14:10 SAST 2017

Five reasons why Sundowns will beat SuperSport again

Marc Strydom | 2017-04-18 14:18:26.0
Khama Billiat,Thapelo Morena and Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns during the Absa Premiership match against SuperSport United at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on April 13, 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Image by: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

The Tswhane Derby Reloaded on Wednesday night follows a 5-0 Absa Premiership thrashing of SuperSport United by their Pretoria neighbours Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld on Thursday.

TMG Digital has identified five reasons why Sundowns will beat SuperSport again when the teams meet for a second time in seven days at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday night:

1) Downs’ record against SuperSport is awe-inspiring

Going back the last 14 games‚ stretching back to September 2012‚ SuperSport have won just one game against Sundowns.

It gets worse for Matsatsantsa‚ though‚ because they have lost nine of those 14‚ with three draws‚ conceding a huge 26 goals with just seven scored.

2) Sundowns have the psychological edge

A 5-0 win‚ where Downs’ frontline were rampant and the saves of SuperSport goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse kept the scoreline down‚ must have shaken Matsatsantsa.

A repeat of that scoreline seems unlikely‚ but if Downs keep their heads‚ they should be able to pick SuperSport apart again.

Perhaps only complacency can work against Sundowns. But this is a team hardened mentally by becoming African champions last year‚ so how likely can that be?

3) Down’s recent dominance of Baxter

There was a time‚ when he was at Kaizer Chiefs‚ when Stuart Baxter’s record against his Sundowns read very well.

At Amakhosi‚ Baxter played seven against the Brazilians‚ won three‚ drew two and lost two.

Since his move to SuperSport‚ Baxter has lost four out of five games‚ with one win‚ on penalties the in Telkom Knockout quarterfinals in November.

That makes for an overall record of played 12‚ won four‚ drawn three and lost five‚ which has declined for Baxter in recent seasons.

4) Khama Billiat

The Zimbabwean bounced back from an initially quiet return from injury as the chief architect of the 5-0 rout last Thursday.

Billiat’s runs‚ killer passes and finishing – scoring two goals – tormented SuperSport’s overly static back four of Michael Boxall‚ Morgan Gould‚ Clayton Daniels and Onismor Bhasera.

5) Sundowns have a title to defend

Sundowns have finally caught up to perhaps their strongest title challengers‚ Bidvest Witys‚ in games at 21‚ and now lag by just three points.

The Brazilians have apparently recovered from their damaging run of five PSL games without a win.

They displayed free-flowing football against SuperSport‚ then that they had rediscovered their ability to grind out a result with a tough 1-0 away win against Free State Stars on Sunday. SuperSport’s title chances have frankly waned too far.

Downs still have it all to play for.

 - TMG Digital/TMG Sport

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