Sat Jul 22 22:47:11 CAT 2017
Vilakazi Street packed to capacity Picture: Neo Goba
Vilakazi Street residents ready for celebrations

For 83-year-old pensioner Grace Mafafane Mandela Day means she gets to be spoiled just like the old .

Kekana returns to boost Sundowns

By Tshepang Mailwane | 2017-06-19 07:15:19.0

Kekana can notch so many midfield battles won around the continent now for Sundowns becoming African club champions last year‚ he’s running out of space on his bedpost. Picture credits: Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns need another memorable CAF Champions League performance to get their campaign back on track.

A big plus as they head into their group match against Esperance in Tunis on Wednesday is that they have welcomed back Anthony Laffor from a hamstring injury as well as Hlompho Kekana, who missed out on national team duty recently with a thigh strain.

The defending champions were beaten 2-1 by Esperance at Lucas Moripe Stadium a fortnight ago. This defeat put Sundowns in third place in Group C with four points, three points behind pacesetters from Tunisia. Another defeat would leave Sundowns' chances hanging in the balance.

Good news is that they have some of their stars back for coach Pitso Mosimane to select.

Both Kekana and Laffor were part of training last week and travelled with the team, as well asMotjeka Madisha who had a knock in the match against the Tunisian giants a couple of weeks ago.

Despite returning to full training last week, defender Wayne Arendse has not travelled with the team. Arendse tore ligaments in his left ankle and has not played since March during the qualifying stages of the competition.

"He's not ready yet. He has not travelled, but he has started training," said Sundowns spokesperson Thulani Thuswa yesterday.

Khama Billiat looks set to miss out on the clash after missing Zimbabwe's recent international matches with an ankle problem.

Some of Sundowns' players were on international duty recently. Tebogo Langerman andThemba Zwane played 90minutes againstNigeriaas Sibusiso Vilakazi was taken off in the second half.BothTiyani Mabunda and Percy Tau came on as substitutes in the 2-0 victory over the Super Eagles. Mabunda and Tau started in the international friendly against Zambia at Moruleng Stadium three days and Langerman got a rest.

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