Downs rely on Habas

DESPITE recent woes involving their coach, Mamelodi Sundowns welcome Free State Stars with a confidence belying the problems at Super Stadium tonight.

DESPITE recent woes involving their coach, Mamelodi Sundowns welcome Free State Stars with a confidence belying the problems at Super Stadium tonight.

This, says defender Robyn Johannes, is due to the man who will be on the bench while Hristo Stoichkov sits out his suspension.

Assistant coach Antonio Lopez Habas is an unknown quantity to South Africans, but he could launch himself in a big way if he plays his cards right.

"Habas is very good. He has been around for ages and has worked under people like Liverpool's Rafael Benitez at Valencia," Johannes said.

Johannes and players like Mabhuti Khenyeza, Katlego Mphela and Elias Pelembe will be called upon to fight Ea Lla Koto in the absence of suspended Vuyo Mere as well as Matthew Booth, Lerato Chabangu and Surprise Moriri.

Benedict Vilakazi and Calvin Marlin have recovered from their injuries.

All Stars players are available, except for Sithembiso Ngcobo and Siyabonga Mdluli.

Meanwhile, PSL champions SuperSport United travel to Free State where they will play Bloemfontein Celtic.

Celtic coach Owen da Gama said: "I would rather face the champions now than later on. it will be a tough task ."

United skipper Bongani Khumalo hopes to carry his team's good form into this match.

Kickoff for both games is at 7.30pm.

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