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Sundowns brace for Arrows' counter-pressing style based on possession

They average about eight seconds to get into your final third – Mokwena

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena is well aware of the possession-based style of football that Arrows employ, as well as their speedy counterattacks, he revealed in his analysis of today's opponents.

Table toppers Mamelodi Sundowns will be hoping to swiftly bounce back from Sunday's shock defeat to Kaizer Chiefs, their first in the league this season, when they welcome third-placed Arrows at Loftus Versfeld Stadium today (5pm). 

The Brazilians are on 47 points from 22 games, five ahead of Arrows, who've played two games more.

“Arrows are a good team. I think they've shown good consistency throughout the season. They have a clear playing philosophy. They have a clear structure in all schemes. In possession, you know exactly how the behaviour is... to use both centre-halves and then have a No 6, whether it's [Seth] Parusnath or [Gladwin] Shitolo to come in... to create possibilities of linking up with the attack,” Mokwena said.

“That's a clear sign of a team that wants possession. Teams that want to be in possession are teams that also have good possibilities to counter-press, which is a clear profile of Arrows. The interesting thing is that the last 12 goals they scored, 90% of them have come between the phase of regaining possession and attacking... they average about eight seconds to get into your final third.''

Mokwena added that defender Brian Onyango and talisman Peter Shalulile were doubtful for the Arrows clash. He said Onyango complained of a muscle complication towards the end of the game against Chiefs, while Shalulile is still recovering after missing the last game.

Arrows are coming into this game  on the back of a disappointing goalless draw away to strugglers Chippa United on Sunday. Abafana Bes'thende mentor Mandla Ncikazi would like nothing more than to leapfrog provincial foes AmaZulu to occupy second spot on the log.

“If you look much at the log table, you'll be stressed but it'd be nice to be there [in second spot]. Maybe there's still an opportunity to get there,” said Ncikazi.

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