Tue Oct 25 15:48:26 SAST 2016

Sundowns coach Mosimane expects fireworks in Pretoria derby against SuperSport

Tiyani wa ka Mabasa | 01 March, 2016 00:27
Hlompho Kekana of Sundowns score a goal while goalkeeper Ronwen Williams during the Absa Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United at Lucas Moripe Stadium on January 23, 2016 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Image by: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Supersport United coach Stuart Baxter believes the lower profile of the Tshwane derby could be the reason this clash always produces goals.

Supersport and Mamelodi Sundowns will renew their rivalry tonight when they clash at Lucas Moripe Stadium in a league match.

The last 10 league matches between the Pretoria rivals have produced 21 goals at an average of just over two per match.

"I think it is because there is less scrutiny and maybe the players feel it can be a positive motivation. When I was at Chiefs, you felt you had to calm down the players ahead of the Soweto derby. Their nerves were bursting. You wanted to calm them down," said Baxter, who was with Chiefs from 2012 to 2015.

"Sometimes in the Soweto derby you get the feeling that no one wants to lose and there is a big difference if you play in that mindset," he said.

Baxter is aware that his defence is one of the worst in the league, having conceded 28 goals, and said they would have to be at their best against free-scoring Sundowns.

The Brazilians have scored the most goals in the league with 39 in 21 games.

"What we know is if you don't defend well against Sundowns, then they will punish you. But I don't want the defending to mean our offensive play suffers. That's the challenge that I've got.

"I think we need to open up enough to give them problems, but we need to defend strongly enough to make sure we don't leak goals," he added.

On the opposite side, Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane said he expected end-to-end play that will produce goals.

"One thing for sure about the Tshwane derby is it always has goals and I hope it stays that way. It is never a 0-0.

"If it is a draw I hope it is 2-2 or 3-3 and it is beautiful. I'm expecting fireworks," Mosimane said.

He added that Sundowns must watch out for Downs defender Mario Booysen, who is on loan at Supersport United for until the end of the season.

Sundowns top the PSL standings with 49 points from 21 games, while Supersport are 10th with 27 points.

When the two sides met in January, Sundowns won 2-0, with Hlompho Kekana and Leonardo Castro on the score sheet.


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