Key players: Sundowns vs Chiefs
Posted: 3 August 2018 Time: 13:00
The 2018/19 PSL season is set for a mouth-watering kick-off between Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs. KickOff.com looks at the potential match-winners for each side.
Perennial slow-starters, The Brazilians, will be looking to do things differently this season when they get their campaign underway with a high-profile clash against Amakhosi.
With the two sides having met just a fortnight ago in the Shell Helix Ultra Cup pre-season friendly at the FNB Stadium, this time the stakes will be significantly higher at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium.
Sundowns will not only be looking to get their title defence off to a strong start, but will also want to gain further momentum ahead of their MTN8 quarterfinal next week, while Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas will be looking to win the fans over with three crucial points.
Key players - Sundowns:
The hosts will be looking for inspiration from a number of attacking players following the departure of PSL Footballer of the Season Percy Tau.
Uruguayan forward Gaston Sirino has showed signs of stepping up since his arrival in January, but has struggled to build some consistency in his game.
If last Friday’s showing against AS Togo-Port was anything to go by, a repeat showing could see the 27-year-old decide the match for Pitso Mosimane’s side.
Meanwhile, Themba Zwane, could now come out of the shadow of Tau and finally realise his true potential, of which he has shown glimpses of in seasons gone by.
‘Mshishi’ could play a vital role in Sundowns’ attack, piercing through the Chiefs defence and setting things up for the likes of Sibusiso Vilakazi and Jeremy Brockie.
Key Players – Chiefs
Being spurred on with the hope of putting the team’s sorrow of the past three years behind them, things will be made much easier with a solid display from new signing Khama Billiat.
The former Downs star could have a vital say in Khosi supporters’ happiness index, should he replicate any of the performances witnessed during his time at the Chloorkop outfit.
Alongside him will be none other than his former partner in goal-scoring Leonardo Castro, who has taken some time to find his feet at Naturena.
However, with the help of Billiat, who understands his movement and expectations a lot better than anyone else, the Colombian forward could haunt his former teammates.
Back from a long injury lay-off, and effectively a brand new signing, Kabelo Mahlasela could bring the element of surprise if given a run-in just behind the likes of Castro and Billiat.