Mamelodi Sundowns will begin their DStv Premiership title defence when they travel to the DHL Stadium to take on Cape Town City in their opening fixture for the 2022-23 season on Friday evening.
Cape Town City will enter the new campaign having last featured against Cape rivals Stellenbosch FC in a match that saw them suffer a narrow 1-0 defeat at the Danie Craven Stadium on the final day of last season’s DStv Premiership.
The result saw the Citizens finish the 2021-22 season in second place in the DStv Premiership standings with 49 points, having won 12 matches, drawing 13 and only conceding five defeats in 30 matches.
Mamelodi Sundowns, meanwhile, comes into this encounter off the back of winning the Nedbank Cup trophy in their final match of last campaign after they edged out Marumo Gallants 2-1 in extra time at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday, May 28, 2022.
In the league, the Brazilians were crowned DStv Premiership champions for the fifth consecutive season after they finished last season top of the table with 65 points, 16 points ahead of second-placed City, having only suffered three defeats, played out to eight draws and claimed a total of 19 wins across 30 matches.
Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango says: “It’s going to be a high-intensity game, we will try to get positive results as soon as possible because we know that the season is going to be a tough one.
“As soon as we get good results it’s going to be good for the team.”
Much was expected from last season’s two-legged fixture between the Sundowns and City but the rivalry between the two teams did not live up to expectations as both the first and second leg fixtures ended in goalless draws.
Both Eric Tinkler and Manqoba Mngqithi will be boosted by the fact that there are no injuries or suspensions to report in both camps ahead of this mouth-watering fixtures on Friday evening.
Cape Town City fans will be expecting a big season from Hugo Marques. He will be hoping he can replicate the same form he showed last season that won him the PSL Goalkeeper of the Year award after he kept 15 clean sheets in 28 appearances in the DStv Premiership.
In his last five matches for City, Marques has managed to keep three clean sheets against Chippa United, TS Galaxy and AmaZulu, and he only conceded three goals which came against Kaizer Chiefs and Stellenbosh FC.
Mamelodi Sundowns will be eager for more goals from Peter Shalulile. The star forward will be keen to hit the ground running and continue his form for the Brazilians after the Namibian attacker netted a total of 30 goals and seven assists in 45 appearances across all competitions to help his side clinch the domestic treble.
Shalulile has found the back of the net on two occasions in his last five appearances for Sundowns, scoring against Sekhukhune United and Royal AM, respectively.
Cape Town City Form:
Mamelodi Sundowns Form: