Black Leopards will play their first game since the firing of coach Dylan Kerr when they face defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns at the Thohoyandou Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. Lidoda Duvha axed the Englishman on Monday following a string of poor results.
Leopards are in the relegation zone in 15th place with nine points. The bottom three teams that include Leopards, Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila and Maritzburg United are tied on nine points.
Kerr was in his second stint at the club. With just two months in charge, the affable tactician got the chop after a record of two wins, four losses and three draws.
Assistant coaches Lehlohonolo Seema and Morgan Shivambu have taken charge of the team.
“We will have to see how much is the change with Dylan having left the club. It’s a new technical team that is in charge and they are experienced,” Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena said ahead of his team’s clash with Leopards.
“Regardless of the changes on the bench, they will always be a difficult team. Leopards are known to be hard running at home and they give it all against big teams.”
Travelling to Limpopo is never easy for opponents. Teams have to travel some two hours by bus from Polokwane to get to Venda.
Mokwena said playing in Thohoyandou required the players to be psychologically strong.
“The match has a lot of travelling involved. Travelling to Venda is energy-consuming so we have to make sure we have the right energy levels,” he said.
“They are a difficult opposition and are fighting for their lives. They are trying to collect as many points as possible and keep their top division status.”
In the other match, Bloemfontein Celtic will host Chippa United at the Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium.
Celtic are back from their CAF Confederation Cup assignment where they got eliminated in the preliminary round game after a 5-0 aggregate defeat to Rivers United of Nigeria.
Celtic endured a long trip to and from, having had to play the return leg at a neutral Benin due to travel restrictions in Nigeria. They were hammered 3-0 last Saturday after the first leg had ended in a 2-0 loss.
(both matches kick off at 5pm)
- Bloemfontein Celtic vs Chippa United (Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium)
- Black Leopards vs Mamelodi Sundowns (Thohoyandou Stadium)