Tsepo Masilela says stakes are high against title rivals Mamelodi Sundowns
Posted: 31 March 2017 Time: 12:59
Kaizer Chiefs defender Tsepo Masilela is desperate to end their two-year winless run against Mamelodi Sundowns, but says staying in the title race is more important.
Chiefs have struggled to beat Sundowns since the arrival of Steve Komphela in 2015, losing three and escaping with one draw in their four meetings over the last two years.
In fact, joy has been unfamiliar for Amakhosi against both of their biggest rivals – Orlando Pirates and the Brazilians – throughout Komphela’s reign.
“At Kaizer Chiefs we want to win and it is always nice winning. When you play against Sundowns and Pirates you want to get three points and make the fans happy so, not that it is something that is on our minds but, we would love to win this one. It is a home game and it is being played at crucial stage of the season,” responded Masilela to being asked about standing up to the big boys.
With Chiefs versus Sundowns at FNB Stadium on Saturday (20h15) the dominant fixture of discussion this weekend, Masilela knows all too well how crucial this game is for their title aspirations.
The facts are that the Phefeni Glamour Boys have played four games more than their counterparts, yet are just two points ahead in fourth position with the race meandering towards the home stretch.
“If you look at the race, I think we have five teams [competing for the title] so it is not the normal two or three team race," he said. "This one is tough because when you drop points you don’t expect all other four teams to drop. One, two or three might win so it can have an influence as there is still around seven games to play and we are not in the best position.
"The one that is on top is the one that I believe is in the best position. We are not in the best position, yet what is nice is that we are still in the race and we want to stay there going towards May and the last game. We want to stay in the race.
“As long as we are still in the race we fancy our chances. If the points difference is four or five points with seven or eight games to go, why not fancy your chances? So we are in that position and we want to take it one game at a time and try to win our games.
"As the coach said, by the end of April the picture should be more or less clearer. Position-wise, yes, we look good but with calculating you will never know. You have seen how many points Sundowns managed last season so with our position we will see, but then with five teams involved this is really tough to say.
"If you lose and think all the other four will also lose, I don’t think so. You just have to play your games, get points and see what happens. Still, it is important to beat the ones that you are in the race with as it slows them down a bit and gives you that little bit of an advantage,” he added.
Chiefs have since indicated that they are expecting a huge crowd with ticket-sales having already surpassed the 30 000-mark as at Thursday.