Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has revealed one of the advantages his team will have when they play the Pretoria derby on Monday against rivals Supersport United.
Mokwena will be in charge of his first Pretoria derby as a solo head coach since the technical reshuffle that was made by the Brazilians in October 2022. Mokwena believes the former Supersport players who are currently playing for Masandawana will be helpful in the field of play because they know strengths and weaknesses of their former teammates.
“Some of our players know a lot about SuperSport and that helps a lot on the field of play, not necessarily with regard to tactics, but also with regard to individual profiles and knowing the players well,” says Mokwena during press conferences held at Chloorkop.
“They know the strengths and weaknesses, but you can say the same on the other side that Onismor Bhasera, Luke Fleurs and Siyabonga Nhlapo played with them and they also know their strengths and weaknesses.”
“It is the Pretoria derby, you can find all the headlines and I don’t want to do that for you, it is the top of the table clash and it is one vs two. It is two very good teams with different styles of play and data supports that.
Furthermore, Gavin Hunt won’t be able to use some of his key players such as goalkeeper Ricardo Goss, midfielder Grant Margeman and attacker Thabang Sibanyoni, who are all on loan from Sundowns and will not be able to play against their parent club. But Mokwena still expects a tough encounter.
“SuperSport have the highest number of throw-in shots in the league, which is six, and they have the highest number of crosses into the box with 186,” he added.
“The distribution from the goalkeeper is not the longest in the league, the distribution from the centre backs in terms of length is not the longest in the league. That also gives you an element of saying there are moments where they look to play from the back.
“They are a very complex team with strengths that go a bit in contradiction to their profile at times, and one of their biggest strengths is they have an experienced coach who knows how to win and we expect a very difficult match,” he concluded.
The last time both sides met in a DStv Premiership match Matsatsantsa won the match 2-1 at Lucas Masterpieces Moripe stadium.