Can Downs bounce back?

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

The mark of champions is in their ability to overcome adversity, so Mamelodi Sundowns' Absa Premiership match against Black Leopards tonight should be interesting.

Taking place barely four days after the Telkom Knockout final, Leopards will face a wounded Sundowns, determined to focus fully on their league campaign.

Lidoda Dhuvha spokesman Tshifhiwa Thidiela acknowledged the danger his men will encounter at Loftus tonight, but said they will not be used as props by Sundowns as they reclaim their dignity.

"Things will be very tough for us. They want to redeem themselves obviously, but we are at a precarious position on the log. We want to escape from there, therefore we have a big fight on our hands," Thidiela said.

Leopards do want to escape from the pressure cooker that is the bottom half the league, but their fighting chances were dealt a blow by the unavailability of Christian Mouduthe-Bille. The former Sundowns player was returning to Cameroon yesterday after the death of his father.

"But all the other players are available," Thidiela said.

Sundowns spokesman Daniel Mudau said Esrom Nyandoro was fit to play, and so is Godfrey Sapula.

"After missing out on the top goalscorer award in the Telkom Knockout, Lerato Chabangu is raring to go and score goals to secure those three points," Mudau said.

The Brazilians always do well against the team from the North, but Mudau warned that Leopards are not easy to beat, because of their robust and physical game.