Premier Soccer League defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns clash against AmaZulu in a season opener at Loftus Versfeld.
It is a big battle between last season’s top two, as Usuthu were the Brazilians’ closest challengers during the campaign.
The match will surely indicate what the two teams have to offer this season, and it will mark the beginning of the second season of Masandawana under the coaching combination of Manqoba Mngqithi, Rhulani Mokwena and Steve Komphela.
The trio has tried to build their own team by getting rid of veterans like Anthony Laffor, Wayne Arendse, Tebogo Langerman and Tiyani Mabunda, while, AmaZulu boss Benni McCarthy will set about testing a squad he crafted himself after inheriting Ayanda Dlamini’s team last season.
No Sundowns player is suspended for this match and the club has not updated their injury list.During the course of the week, new signings like Divine Lunga, Sifiso Ngobeni and Neo Maema were captured fully participating in training.
According to the PSL, Masandawana goalkeepers’ coach Wendell Robinson will not be allowed to be on the bench after he was red-carded last weekend in the MTN8 quarter-final battle against Kaizer Chiefs.
After leaving the Premier Soccer League with three yellow cards for a stint in Ukraine, AmaZulu defender Tercious Malepe is back to be listed with those cautions on his back.
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If he is fielded and booked, he will miss Usuthu’s trip to Chippa United on Tuesday.No Usuthu player has been confirmed as injured.
Friday’s season opener will be a battle of two teams meeting on the backdrop of contrasting fortunes.Last Sunday, Sundowns knocked Kaizer Chiefs out of the MTN8 at the quarter-final stage.
Later on that evening, AmaZulu were booted out of that competition by Cape Town City.That could see the two sides approaching the Loftus Versfeld encounter with differing levels of confidence.