Barker admits Sundowns more than just Shalulile


Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker has revealed that the focus won't only be on stopping free-scoring Peter Shalulile when his side meets Mamelodi Sundowns this weekend.

High-flying Stellenbosch FC travel to Pretoria this weekend where they will be welcomed by DStv Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns at the ABSA Tuks Stadium on Saturday.

The Cape-based outfit are currently fifth in the league standings with two matches remaining, having amassed a club record 41 points so far, and still harbour outside hopes of qualifying for next season's CAF Confederation Cup.

Those hopes largely depend on the club recording a good result against Masandawana, who are once again expected to take to the field with this season's leading goalscorer, Peter Shalulile, as the spear of their attack.

The Namibian striker has scored 22 goals for the campaign and is just three goals shy of Collins Mbesuma's single-season record of 25, which he recorded with Kaizer Chiefs back in 2004/05.

Earlier this week, Sundowns' co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi suggested that his side might be over-reliant on Shalulile but Stellies head coach Steve Barker will not be directing all of his attention to the former Highlands Park star.

"I wouldn't really say so [that Sundowns are over-reliant on him] considering that they have got so many other match-winning players in their team," Barker told the club's media team ahead of the match.

"Aubrey Modiba has now scored in his last two matches, they've got people like Themba Zwane, and they have other strikers that they can use.

"But yes, obviously negating a player like Shalulile does take away a lot of the threat that they do bring but it doesn't make our task any easier. We definitely have to take care of him but also have to be aware of the other strengths that they have."

The 54-year-old also revealed that he expects Sundowns to field a full-strength team for the encounter desire having already mathematically secured a record fifth consecutive league crown.

"I don't anticipate that they will," he added when asked if he thought Sundowns would rest and rotate their squad. "They're a club that has built up a DNA that every match is important to them.

"They are a club that wants to keep setting records and I'm sure they will want to put on a big performance to allow Shalulile to get more goals and try and reach that 25-mark.

"As a team, they will want to keep momentum. They have got a big Nedbank Cup final coming up and I do anticipate that they want to go into that match in good form.

"One must not forget that they are coming off a draw against Kaizer Chiefs and they are a team that doesn't go without winning a game in two [matches]. So, they will definitely be a formidable opponent.

"They are the type of team, with the depth that they have, that even if they do rest some players, the players that they do bring in will also be of real quality"