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Sundowns will not put their players under pressure to wrap up the league title against SuperSport

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Tlhopie Motsepe with Manqoba Mngqithi ,Steve Komphela and Wendell Robinson during the CAF Champions League Quarter Final, 2nd Leg match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Al Ahly SC at Lucas Moripe Stadium on May 22, 2021 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Tlhopie Motsepe with Manqoba Mngqithi ,Steve Komphela and Wendell Robinson during the CAF Champions League Quarter Final, 2nd Leg match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Al Ahly SC at Lucas Moripe Stadium on May 22, 2021 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns will not put their players under pressure to wrap up the league title when they face city rivals SuperSport United in the Tshwane derby on Wednesday afternoon.

The Pretoria club will win the DStv Premiership title with three matches to spare if they are able to secure maximum points against their Pretoria neighbours in a match that has become one of the most highly anticipated on the calendar. A victory would also complete the unprecedented feat of winning four league titles in a row.

Incidentally‚ the two city rivals are the only teams in the premiership that have won three league titles in a row since the inception of the Premier Soccer League in 1996. But Sundowns have an opportunity to edge in front and are within touching distant of setting a new record.

Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi said they have put the disappointment of failing to progress to the semifinals of the Champions League at the weekend behind them - the Brazilians were dumped out of the continental event by former coach Pitso Mosimane's Al Ahly - and they have now turned their attention to their domestic ambitions.

“We are not looking‚ and not putting a lot of pressure on the players to view this game as the title decider‚” said Mngqithi.

“Our focus is now on the next assignment against SuperSport. You could see from training that the intensity was good and everybody is looking forward to give a fight.

"You know that Sundowns does not like to lose‚ or [fail to win] two matches in a row‚ so we have a responsibility to try and come back as soon as possible.

“For us it is always important to focus on our processes and according to our processes‚ this is the second match of the last cycle of five games‚ and we have won the first one.

"All our attention is now on making sure that we achieve our targets in our last four matches‚ it just happens that SuperSport can decide the [destiny of the] championship.

“The intention is to try and get the number of points that we have targeted and as it is‚ we are short of nine points in this cycle and it would be nice if we get 12. We want the players to give the same energy because for it is very important to try and win every match that we play‚ and achieve our targets.”

Mngqithi said they will up against a rejuvenated United side that recently won their first match in eleven outings following a poor run that included ten draws and three losses.

“They may not be in a favourable position [United are sixth on the standings] but the truth of the matter is that they are coming back again‚ and they are showing that they are a very decent team.

"Bradley Grobler is still the top goal scorer [in the league]‚ Sipho Mbule has had a wonderful season‚ Ghampani Lungu is proving to be very handy when it comes to counter-attacks and of late they have decided to play Kudakwashe Mahachi and Keenan Phillips as fullbacks.

“Mahachi and Phillips are very quick and they are always looking to go up‚ and SuperSport have scored a lot of goals from crosses or shots outside the box.

"Mbule has got a shot from outside the box‚ Grobler has a shot from outside the box‚ Teboho Mokoena has a shot from outside the box and Jamie Webber also has a shot from outside the box.

“They have always scored some tremendous goals and we know that we are not playing pushovers. Their captain and goalkeeper Ronwen Williams has come back to action again and they are looking like a team that [is intent] on launching a potential comeback to finish the season very strongly.”