a heavy burden
Pressure is mounting on the expensively assembled Mamelodi Sundowns to tear Free State Stars to pieces during their opening MTN 8 match at Super Stadium on Sunday.
This after The Brazilians were forced to go for an early shower in the season-opening Telkom Charity Cup in Mmabatho last Saturday where the youthful Kaizer Chiefs defeated them in the second semifinal.
With just over 11 players - including Subisiso "Rhee" Zuma and Benedict "Tso" Vilakazi - recruited by club president Patrice "Ngwana ko Hae" Motsepe, the expectations are naturally high for MaSundawana.
Mahlatse Mphahlele, Sundowns' communications manager, said they were glad that all their players would be available for selection on Sunday.
"There will be no excuses, we will be at full strength which is good for the technical staff as they are spoiled for choice. The Charity Cup defeat is beyond us and the focus is on the new tournament," Mphahlele said.
"Stars are a difficult side, they have just acquired a new coach from Ghana [Duncan David] and a number of new players to beef up their squad. Naturally, all the players there will be out to impress their new coach."
Stars' brand manager Rantsi Mokoena said they were bracing themselves for a tough encounter.
"Sundowns have signed almost all the best players on the market during the off-season, it will be a difficult one for us but we are going out there to compete. Our coach has been trying various combinations. We hope for the best."
Stars have also signed the likes of Mpho Maleka, Paulus Masehe and Ghanaian David Telfer.
In their last encounter at the same venue, a league match last season, Stars went on a goal spree when they hammered Sundowns 4-0. It remains to be seen if they can do it again.