THE 2016 Caf Champions League returnees, Mamelodi Sundowns, will have no excuse for faltering in the group stages of the competition as they strive to reach the finals on 22 October.
First they have to take down Algerian giants ES Setif in their opening group match at the Stade 8 Mai 1945 tomorrow at 11.05pm (SA time).
Downs’ players will be motivated by the fact that their matches will be beamed live by SuperSport – meaning they will have the support of fans even when playing away.
The only concerns for the Brazilians are the injuries and suspensions that have hit Chloorkop.
Trusted Hlompho Kekana is nursing a groin injury picked up on national team duty with Bafana Bafana recently, while Mzikayise Mashaba is undergoing treatment for a hernia.
It has also been reported that captain Ramahlwe Mphahlele is experiencing contractual dilemmas at the club. Mphahlele will not be extending his contract with Sundowns and is on his way to Kaizer Chiefs after Amakhosi boss Bobby Motaung made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
The club has revealed that team doctors are also monitoring the condition of Teko Modise, Soumahoro Bangaly, Tiyani Mabunda and Cuthbert Malajila, who are all suffering a bout of flu.
Denis Onyango and Tebogo Langerman will miss the crucial encounter, as the influential pair will be serving their suspensions after accumulating yellow cards.
This will certainly pave the way for Wayne Sandilands to assume the position between the sticks.
The silver lining is that Khama Billiat will be there to continue his tricky moves along with Keagan Dolly, who has been excused from the Bafana Bafana squad for the Cosafa Cup currently underway in Windhoek, Namibia.
SuperSport chief executive, Gideon Khobane confirmed that they would flight the matches live.
“We’re excited that our viewers, both Premium and Compact, will be part of the adventure Sundowns are embarking on as they seek to become continental champions,” he said in a statement.
If they are to be mentioned in the same breath as Al Ahly, TP Mazembe, Enyimba, Zamalek and Orlando Pirates, the Brazilians must conquer the continent, the statement further suggested.