Otieno returns for Santos


The inconsistent People’s Team will be taking on an equally in-and-out Mamelodi Sundowns, who are also smarting from a double defeat by PSL rookies Bay United.

The Brazilians’ new head honcho, Frenchman Henri Michel is still waiting for his work permit, so cameras will focus on Trott Moloto sitting on the bench. This is likely to be Moloto’s last game as head coach although Sundowns boss Patrice Motsepe is likely to keep him on the bench to help Michel over the next few months.

Sundowns have only won three out of six league games, losing two of those games at home; they lost in the final of the MTN8 cup to Kaizer Chiefs; and they were knocked out of the Telkom Knockout Cup in the first round to newly promoted Bay United.

But despite this they are lying fifth on the log whereas Santos are 11th.

Good news for the Capetonians is that veteran defender Musa Otieno and youngster Ryan Chapman are again available to coach David Bright for selection after serving two match suspensions for red cards.

Chapman offers an additional option up front, while Otieno’s return will be welcoming news to a defence that leaked four goals against Platinum Stars last week.

Zvenyika Makonese is a concern for the hosts as he is carrying a knee injury and will undergo a late fitness test closer to kick off time.

Santos will also be without Malawi international Tawonga Chimodzi, who sits out his second match, following his red card against Free State Stars two weeks ago.

Tomorrow night’s match will be the 28th meeting between Santos and Sundowns in league competition since 1991, with the Brazilians having run out victors the majority of times, winning 12 games to Santos’ five.

The Peoples’ Team have not fared so well against the Tshwane side at home, only winning two games out of a possible 27. Furthermore, the last time Santos beat Sundowns was five years ago in the 2003/04 season when they won 3-1.

In the corresponding fixture last season the two teams played to a 1-1 draw thanks to a penalty from Erwin Isaacs for Santos and a goal from Patrick Apataki.

The previous 27 league games played between these two rivals has seen 69 goals with the Brazilians hitting the back of the net almost double the amount of times of the Peoples’ Team; Sundowns have outscored Santos 43 to 26.