Sundowns favoured to overcome Stars


The Brazilians and their new stars will therefore not only be eager to win the R8 million the MTN 8 has to offer for the ultimate trophy winner, but they will also want to teach Ea Lla Koto a lesson at the Super Stadium in Atteridgeville on Sunday.

Kick off is at 15h00.

Brazilians coach Trott Moloto will have a tough task when he has to tell some of the players of his star-studded side that they will be sitting in the stands come the quarterfinal.

Sundowns signed numerous players and most would be the ‘superstar’ in any other Premiership side, except at the Brazilians, where they are just one of many.

Club chairman Patrice Motsepe obviously wants to go out and win the MTN African Champions League soon, but he wouldn’t mind starting at home, by lifting the MTN 8 trophy in a couple of week’s time.

New players at Sundowns are Sibusiso Zuma, Benedict Vilakazi, Thando Mngomeni, Derrick Spencer, Sydney Plaatjies, Kurt Lentjies, Koketso Mmotong, Katlego Mphela, Dario Monteria and Zambian Collins Mbesuma, the former Kaizer Chiefs striker.

An indication of Sundowns in quality players, the likes of Elias Ngwepe, David Kannemeyer and Bryan Aldave have been put on the transfer list - and all of them could easily walk into the starting line-up of any other Premiership side.

Free State Stars, meanwhile, lost their coach Kinnah Phiri who did such a sterling job last season, helping his side to a fifth position finish on the log. Phiri has been replaced by the Ghanaian David Duncan, who back home is nicknamed ‘Mourinho’ after Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho.

They have also bolstered their technical bench by bringing in former Orlando Pirates coach Owen da Gama.

Two players from Ghana have joined Duncan, Jonathan Mensah and David Telfer, both of whom he knows from his former club Ashanti Gold.

Beside the two Ghanaians, Ea Lla Koto have signed several other players, including Mpho Maleka (from AmaZulu), the Namibian defender Toromba Hartman and striker Paulus Masehe (from Orlando Pirates), who used to play for the Brazilians and who would probably like to put one past his former side.

Free State Stars don’t have the players to compete with Sundowns, but in coach Duncan and Da Gama they do have coaches who stresses ‘team effort’ and Ea Lla Koto might therefore be able to spring a surprise - like they did in the final match of the 2007/2008 Absa Premiership season.