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Sundowns and Pirates need points in the CAF Champions League.

31 January 2019, by: Thabang Kgeledi


Mamelodi Sundowns will be hoping to continue their CAF Champions League momentum when they host ASEC Mimosas on Friday evening at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium. Orlando Pirates need nothing less than three points in their home game against fellow Group B leaders ES Tunis on Saturday night in Orlando.

Being a Sundowns supporter in the past seven days must have been a nightmare. Your team is on a two-game losing streak, they lost 2-1 to Chippa United to boot them out the Nedbank Cup and 2-0 to Amazulu in the Absa Prem on Tuesday night. If that wasn’t bad enough, a certain disgruntled player published a nasty letter taking aim at your coach Pitso Mosimane.

My favourite quote of the poorly written but highly entertaining piece being: “Pitso you are the weakest coach I have ever had in my life.”

“I was under your management for six months and all we do is the same training until the day I left and you call yourself a good coach?”

Geez, remind me never to say anything critical about Toni Silva.

All eyes are on the coach and his team. Non-Sundowns supporters would like nothing more than to see a club, that has monopolised the signing of South African talent, fail. On Friday night, Mamelodi Sundowns are at home against Côte d’Ivoire’s ASEC Mimosas. The Brazilians currently have more than a few players on their injury list but, they are coming off an impressive win over Wydad Casablanca in their last champions league game.

After two games played, every team in Group A is on three points. In a tight group, as this one is, a loss could have dire consequences. If Sundowns lose, ASEC Mimosas will be on six points and Wydad Casablanca will probably beat Lobi Stars and be on a half-a-dozen too.

Sundowns will then have to win two away games against Wydad Casablanca and ASEC Mimosas which will be tough. Their loss to the group’s minnows, the Lobi Stars of Nigeria, hurt them. They cannot afford to drop any more points, especially at home.

Being an Orlando Pirates supporter in the past six months must have been a nightmare. Your team got knocked out of the MTN 8 quarter-finals to SuperSport United on penalties. It made it to the Telkom Knockout final but lost the game to Baroka on penalties. Last weekend, in the last 32 of the Nedbank Cup, Pirates exited the tournament at the hands of Black Leopards. ON. PENALTIES.

Orlando Pirates are now left with only the CAF Champions League and Absa Premiership to play for this season. I’m not convinced they’re consistent enough to win the league so their only chance of a trophy this season is the continental tournament.

Orlando Pirates host Espérance Sportive de Tunis of Tunisia at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday night. The Buccaneers will be hoping to bounce back after their aforementioned exit out the Nedbank Cup on Saturday and also avoid penalties by all means possible.

Orlando Pirates and ES Tunis are Group B leaders with both teams on four points going into this weekends game. A win for either team will see them pull away from their opponent on to seven points. This will be Orlando Pirates’ second home fixture which means two out of their remaining three games will be away matches to ES Tunis in Tunisia and Horoya in Guinea. South African teams have always found it difficult to win on their travels. This fixture becomes important for Orlando Pirates to win.

A victory puts them in a good position to win the group and thus avoiding a team that won their group in the quarterfinals. A loss or draw will make away wins more important consequently putting pressure on the team to get results in unfamiliar territory.

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