Sundowns wary, Chiefs hungry as Telkom Knockout begins

2014-10-03 12:17

Mamelodi Sundowns defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele says drawing the University of Pretoria in the opening round of the Telkom Knockout is cause for concern for the defending Premiership champions.

“If there’s one club we as Sundowns hate playing against, it’s Tuks. Whenever they play against us, they just look different,” Mphahlele said ahead of tomorrow’s 5.30pm kick-off at Loftus Versfeld .

“They have nothing to lose, they’re going to push us around and it’s going to be a difficult game. That’s what we are anticipating.”

Sundowns host AmaTuks in one of eight Knockout fixtures on offer this weekend, as the second cup competition of the season gets under way.

A Pretoria derby that has traditionally produced some thrilling action, will square off for a sixth time in the country’s top-flight tournament, though Sundowns are unbeaten in all five previous meetings.

Mphahlele spent a season on loan at Tuks under coach Steve Barker in 2012-2013 and looked set to sign a permanent deal with, but that was before new boss Pitso Mosimane recalled him to the Brazilians and rekindled the player’s career, using him for the entirety of last season.

“When you play against Sundowns, Orlando Pirates or Kaizer Chiefs, I know the boys (Tuks) are fired up for sure,” the right back said.

“They play to impress. I’ve played against Tuks as a Sundowns player and, knowing Barker, he’s going to motivate them.”

In other games tomorrow, Kaizer Chiefs host Maritzburg United for a second time in a week at 8.15pm.

Unbeaten in all 11 of their fixtures so far and newly crowned MTN8 champions, Chiefs are already being touted as potential Knockout champions.

At the same time, AmaZulu welcome Bloemfontein Celtic to the Princess Magogo Stadium.

Earlier in the day, SuperSport United get the day’s play under way at 3pm when they entertain Free State Stars at Lucas Moripe Stadium.

United have a new coach after struggling Cavin Johnson was sacked in favour of former Bafana Bafana coach and four-time Premiership champion, Gordon Igesund.

Igesund is yet to put a foot wrong and has won two out of two games since taking charge a month ago.

Also starting at 3pm are defending champions, Platinum Stars, and Chippa United.

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