Friday will mark the return of local football, as the DStv Premiership kicks off with a tie between defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns and last season’s runners up Cape Town City.
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The Mother City-based side have always held their own against Downs, being one the few teams who are able to snatch points from them both home and away.
Downs co-head coach, Manqoba Mngqithi is convinced that City are going to be one of the title contenders this coming season.
“That match is probably one of the toughest matches we can anticipate. Cape Town City have been growing in leaps and bounds. They finished second last season and they deserve to be where they are,” he said.
“The team that could have easily been where they finished was Orlando Pirates, but unfortunately, they did not score the goals that we expected from them. Cape Town City were looking very good and they progressed well throughout the season.
“Their second round of the season was unbelievable and we know for a fact that we are not going to play pushovers.
“We are playing a team that is going to be competing in the Caf Champions League and they are coached by one of the best coaches in the country (Eric Tinkler). We understand the depth and the expectations of the match and we believe we can still pull it off,” he added.
Masandawana are about to conclude their pre-season and they have a clean bill of health, something that hardly happens at Sundowns. With most of the squad looking fit, Downs may now offload a few players on loan.
“We’ve got some niggling injuries but nothing serious. Rivaldo Coetzee is coming back and Gaston Sirino is out for a few days but will start to train soon. We are fortunate that up until now we have not had any serious injuries during pre-season.” added the coach.
“There are probably one or two players who might go out on loan because there are a number of teams who are interested. We just have to sit down and look at it very closely and make our final decisions.”