Mamelodi Sundowns are chasing the treble but they must defeat Bloemfontein Celtic, unbeaten since football returned, if they want to etch their names in the history books.
The Nedbank Cup final kicks off at 8pm at Orlando Stadium with Phunya Sele Sele ready to emulate TS Galaxy’s underdog victory from last year. The minnows defeated Kaizer Chiefs in time added on but a Celtic win wouldn’t be as much of a shock with their form trending nicely.
Not only have they not been beaten but they possess a squad ready to attack with vigour. Chiefs found this out when they lost 3-1 in league action last month.
The Bloem side boast Sera Motebang, Phalane Lantshene and Andile Fikizolo in their attacking unit to go with captain Ndumiso Mabena. The skipper has 11 goals and 5 assists and is ready to add to that tally.
“We are a team that likes to play the ball, where everyone always avails themselves on the field‚ and we have a high work-rate‚” said Mabena.
“The system we are using comes from the training ground, and there is good understanding between the players because we know how the coaches want us to play. I know the system very well and most of us have been together for a while now‚ and that makes it easier for me to play where I am playing.”
Sundowns, the clear favourites, on the other hand are fighting pre-match battles in the physio room with captain Hlompho Kekana, Gaston Sirino, Ricardo Nascimento and Andile Jali all under the watchful eye.
“So we rested a few guys that are not yet back from injury. Sirino has a niggling injury, we don’t know if he’ll make it. Hlompho – we rested him because the guy’s played all the minutes in the bubble,” said Pitso Mosimane.
One bit of news to follow is the potential return of Denis Onyango.
“Denis is training well, so hopefully he’s okay. Mosa has not started training, probably [soon] you never know. It’s just minor knocks when you come from a game, but nothing big. Oh, Ricardo has a wrist that’s also giving him problems, that’s why he’s been playing with a wrist band. But I don’t know, we should be okay by Saturday.
“AJ, yes, he’s been suffering from that hamstring but he has been training. But the game and training session intensity isn’t the same, but he’s getting better, we’ll hear from the doctors [if he’s available].”