Sundowns brace for TP Mazembe in aggressive Caf Champions League encounter
Mamelodi Sundowns will be up against a complex and aggressive TP Mazembe in the third match of their Caf Champions League campaign in Lubumbashi on Saturday.
The Brazilians take on the Ravens at the cauldron of the Stade TP Mazembe with the sole mission of getting maximum points to stretch their lead at the top of Group B.
Victory for Sundowns will be their third in succession at this stage following 2-0 and 5-1 wins over Al-Hilal Omdurman of Sudan and CR Belouizdad of Algeria respectively.
With both teams having played two matches in the group‚ Sundowns sit at the top of the standings with six points while Mazembe are second with two after draws with Al-Hilal and CR Belouizdad.
“They are a very good and interesting team who are defensively very strong‚” said Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena‚ adding that they have watched videos of Mazembe’s last few matches.
“We have watched their last few matches where they played in the derby against Saint-Éloi Lupopo and against Al Hilal of Sudan.
"In relation to what we have seen we know that it’s a 4-4-1-1 system but it will be very interesting because we still have to tactically activate ourselves to make sure that we are ready for a team that’s got very complex personalities.
“They can be very aggressive‚ they push their wingers very high but they can also be very conservative by sitting on the block and playing on the counter.
"They have very fast players up front‚ so it is going to be interesting to see how they go about their business because they need the three points more than us.”
Mokwena said they have done light training and regeneration since they arrived in the DR Congo earlier this week.
“We did some injury prevention work and activation on major muscle pulls‚ this is very important at this stage of the season.
"It also helps in relation to the travelling that we do because we sit for two or three hours on the flight and another hour on the bus.
"It is important that you wake the muscles up to put yourself in a position not to suffer muscular injuries.”
Mazembe and Sundowns have met in five times in Caf club competitions in the past with the Brazilians winning three times and the Mazembe winning the other two matches.