It’s Super Sunday in SA and England

2011-04-30 15:58

Football lovers here and abroad will be spoilt for choice, with two massive games that will have a huge impact on the destiny of the Absa Premiership and the English Barclays Premiership taking place this afternoon.

Locally, the focus will be at Loftus stadium where Mamelodi Sundowns host Kaizer Chiefs while at the Emirates in North London, English giants Arsenal and Manchester United lock horns in what has been dubbed Super Sunday.

Arsenal, who are trailing leaders United by nine points with four games left, are as good as out of the title race after a shock defeat at Bolton last Sunday.

However, the Gunners will attempt to derail United’s march towards Premier League glory.

Arsenal’s victory over United could blow the championships race wide open and also allow the Gunners to keep up the pressure on Chelsea, who were six points behind the leaders before their match against Tottenham yesterday for the runners-up spot.

United travel to the Emirates full of confidence after their 2-0 victory over German side Schalke 04 on Tuesday in the Champions League first leg semifinal, and they have won five of their past six meetings with Arsenal.

Here at home, all roads lead to Pretoria and you might run out of adjectives and cliches in trying to describe this afternoon’s epic clash between title-chasers Sundowns and Chiefs.

Some say it’s a do-or-die affair, while others say it’s a make or break spectacle.

But it is a must-win – there we go again – for either side as a draw will favour the neutrals – Ajax Cape Town and Orlando Pirates – while victory for either side will effectively rule one out of contention.

Chiefs are third on the log with 53 points while Sundowns, who have a game in hand, are lying fourth on 51 points.

Chiefs are looking to forget about last week’s embarrassing loss to second division side Baroka, while Downs are determined to avenge their first round defeat to Amakhosi.

“We cannot afford another embarrassing defeat after what happened last weekend,” quipped Chiefs captain Jimmy Tau. “The Baroka game is a closed chapter and Sundowns are a completely different challenge for us to enhance our league campaign. We are going there with a positive mindset,” said Tau.

Tau has urged supporters to rally behind the team, saying true fans are those who stand by the team through good and bad times.

Downs midfielder Matthew Pattison said they could not afford any more slip-ups after what happened in their previous game against Ajax Cape Town.

The Pretoria side came back from 4-1 to force a draw and in the process surrendered their position at second on the log.

“All we need to do is to win all our remaining games to stand a good chance of winning the title and that’s what we are going for,” said Pattison.

Downs assistant coach Harold Legodi said they were not reading much into Chiefs’ loss to Baroka as the results were not a true reflection of the game.

“We won’t be fooled by what happened last week as we know what threats they possess. They are a quality side but we will not show them any respect as there is so much at stake,” said Legodi.

He said Downs will play their normal attacking game as they do not have anything to defend.

“For us it’s a win at all costs, so there won’t be time to defend.”

The game will see PSL top scorers Knowledge Musona going head-to-head with Katlego Mphela, who is one goal behind the Zimbabwean hitman on 12 goals.

Both sides will be without key players due to suspensions. Chiefs defender Valery Nahayo is serving a two-match banishment after his red card against Black Aces, while Downs will be minus their influential captain Esrom Nyandoro and defender Siyanda Xulu, who are both serving one match suspensions.

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