Five reasons Sundowns can beat Celtic for a rare treble
Pitso Mosimane and his band of merry Mamelodi Sundowns marauders stand on the cusp of Premier Soccer League (PSL) history for the club.
Should they win Saturday’s Nedbank Cup final against Bloemfontein Celtic at Orlando Stadium‚ the Brazilians will register the first treble success for the club in the PSL era.
They will match the feat that was achieved by the class of 1990 who won the Castle League‚ JPS Cup and the BP Top 8 with players like Ernest “Wire” Mtawali‚ Bennett Masinga and Mark Anderson.
Following their unceremonious semi-final exit from the MTN8 at the hands of SuperSport United at the beginning of the season‚ Sundowns didn’t look like a team that could go on to win the treble.
They have already bagged Telkom Knockout Cup and wrapped up the third successive league title from under the noses of Kaizer Chiefs in dramatic fashion and rare domestic treble will be theirs if they beat Celtic.
Here are the five reasons Sundowns will win the treble:
- Momentum Momentum can be overrated‚ but it can’t be overlooked that Sundowns won two of their last three league games by wide margins in games that mattered. Yes‚ Polokwane City was already relegated and Black Leopards are in the play-offs‚ but Sundowns had one job both those games. It was to win and they did so ruthlessly. They smelt blood‚ went for the kill and came back with the league prey. They can’t be discounted from doing the same in the Cup final.
- Nedbank Cup love Sundowns’ league success hasn’t always been translated into excellent cup run. They’ve had some inexplicably long gaps‚ like 17 years between their second and third MTN8 titles with 12 and 10 years between their second and third Nedbank Cup wins. There are also nine and 16-year gaps in the Telkom Knockout Cup‚ but having being runner’s up five times in the Nedbank Cup‚ they’ve had the necessary conversion to success that’s been missing in the other competitions.
- Themba Zwane magic A fit and firing Themba Zwane is at the heart of everything good for Mamelodi Sundowns. When he found form in the Golden Arrows match‚ Sundowns started winning and they haven’t looked back since. Even in the two losses against Cape Town City and Baroka FC. Celtic has to stop the number 18 before everything else.
- Kennedy Mweene Denis Onyango’s flagging form and fitness was an initial concern‚ but the Zambian international finally became assured and found the form that made him a star at Free State Stars. Clearly at home with not having to go for crosses‚ he’s been happy to rely on his back four to attend to high balls. The shot stopping and the distribution has return and there’s not much to worry about at the back for coach Pitso Mosimane.
- A calm Gaston Sirino With his five goals‚ Sirino played a huge role in getting Mamelodi Sundowns into the Telkom Knockout Cup final‚ but a rush of blood to the head in the semi-final win against Golden Arrows cost him a place in the final. He’s not been as prolific with goals in the Nedbank Cup‚ but his industry has kept the other defenders busy while the goals have come elsewhere. He’s an important cog in this Sundowns team.
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