Only the venue changes for tonight's Absa Premiership clash, and instead of Loftus Versfeld - where last Thursday’s 5-0 thumping of SuperSport United took place - this evening’s edition of the capital city derby plays out in the township of Atteridgeville at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Defeat for SuperSport this evening means they would arguably kiss their title chances goodbye, while Sundowns will want to make sure whoever closes off the night as leaders feel their breath on their necks.
Having claimed wins in their last two league games after dropping 12 in the five games prior, the Brazilians know all too well that games in hand count for little, now that they are level on games played with Bidvest Wits, who are three points ahead in the standings.
This evening’s game comes on the back of a punishing schedule that has seen Sundowns suffer defeat to Kaizer Chiefs, draw at home to Bloemfontein, get knocked out of the Nedbank Cup by Golden Arrows before two wins in a row against SuperSport and, most recently, Free State Stars.
“The heavy fixture load counts for nothing for Sundowns because they have the quality in their squad,” argues retired former Sundowns defender Fabian McCarthy talking to KickOff.com.
“Right now the advantage for them is that they are out of the Nedbank Cup and that has lessened the load for them. They have the players in their squad to get the job done and right now I feel they have turned the corner to be able to go toe-to-toe with Wits, the other strong contender for the league,” he notes.
Sundowns have already played a massive 43 games this season, which kicked off at the end of June for them due to CAF Champions League commitments.
Though they are already out of the Nedbank Cup, Sundowns must still play another eight games next month [six in the domestic league plus two in the CAF Champions League group stages].
When the domestic league ends on May 27, they will still have another four continental matches to play between June 2 and July 9.