Tade could get first start against Asec

Emiliano Tade of Mamelodi Sundowns.
Emiliano Tade of Mamelodi Sundowns.
Image: BackpagePix / Muzi Ntombela

While South Africa are caught up in the euphoria of the sometimes overrated Soweto Derby, Mamelodi Sundowns are doing bigger and better things in African football.

The Brazilians are thousands of miles away in Abidjan in the Ivory Coast to take on local giants Asec Mimosas in the CAF Champions League at Stade Félix Houphouët-Boignyon Tuesday.

Downs will be looking to maintain their lead in Group A, where they have six points from three games after wins over Wydad Casablanca and Asec (3-1 win last week).

With new striker Emiliano Tade looking sharp in his two appearances (with one goal) from the bench, the technical team could consider giving him his first start against Asec.

Coach Pitso Mosimane conceded that the Argentinian was giving him a formational headache. "Who will I sacrifice in the starting line-up? Tade must wait for his turn and needs to earn his place, but he is very close," Mosimane said.

The arrival of Tade and his immediate impact has raised questions about the future of New Zealand striker Jeremy Brockie. For the past eight months, the 2016 Champions League winners have been looking to a free-scoring ace to replace Percy Tau and lead the team to success in the CAF competition.

Mosimane said his team needs to box clever in the group phases to put themselves in a good position in the tournament. "At the end of the day you want to finish number one because the winner will be one side and second-place finishers will be [on] the other side [in the quarterfinal draw].

"I want to be on the side [to avoid] Al Ahly, TP Mazembe, Esperance and Orlando Pirates. I told my players if we win all our home games and collect three points away then we will have 12 points; that will put us on top of the group."

Just hours after the derby, Pirates are set to fly out this morning to Tunisia for their match against Esperance at the Stade Olympique de Radès, also on Tuesday.

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