Manqoba expects ultra-defensive game from Chippa

Downs, United both in high spirits after first-game victories

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Manqoba Mngqithi.
Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Manqoba Mngqithi.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi anticipates Chippa United will deploy a defensive approach when the two sides lock horns in their second league game on Tuesday (5pm).

Going into this encounter at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Sundowns and Chippa are both in high spirits after beating AmaZulu and Sekhukhune United in their respective opening league clashes last week.

Mngqithi has predicted a frustrating afternoon for his side, expecting Chippa to be a tough nut to crack due to their defensive style of play under coach Gavin Hunt.

“Gavin.... you know his teams are never easy to break down. One also foresees a possibility of them sitting in a little bit. They played with three centre-backs against Sekhukhune, with two wing-backs and three central midfielders and two up top. So you can expect a game that will be a little bit frustrating with a bit of directness offensively,” said Mngqithi.

The Sundowns mentor also sounded concerned about Chippa’s prowess when it comes to dead-ball situations, singling out players like Roscoe Petersen, Veluyeke Zulu, Sammy Seabi, Bienvenu Eva Nga and Mogakolodi Ngele as set-piece threats.

“Even the goal they scored against Sekhukhune was from a set-piece. They’ve got some strong players [like] Petersen, Seabi, Zulu ... all those players are a factor in set-pieces, even Eva Nga,’’ Mngqithi stated.

“Ngele is also a big factor in set-pieces because he’s also good aerially and he’s very good in and around the box…in direct free-kicks. So you can expect a game that will have a lot of aerial duels, a game that will have a lot of bites because Chippa work very hard.”

Against AmaZulu, Sundowns kept faith in the same XI that eliminated Kaizer Chiefs from the MTN8 the previous week. However, Mngqithi has revealed injuries may compel them to reshuffle the line-up of the last two games on Tuesday.

“What is not helping us at this stage are the injuries that we’ve had. That has made our lives a little bit difficult in our selection and maybe we will change the team that has been doing well,’’ said Mngqithi.

Fixtures (all at 5pm unless stated)

Tuesday: Chippa v Sundowns, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium; Gallants v Pirates, Peter Mokaba Stadium

Wednesday: SuperSport v Arrows, Lucas Moripe Stadium (3pm); AmaZulu v Swallows, Jonsson Kings Park; Maritzburg v Sekhukhune, Harry Gwala Stadium; Chiefs v Baroka, FNB Stadium; Stellenbosch v Galaxy, Danie Craven Stadium; Royal v CPT City, Chatsworth Stadium

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