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By Sibongiseni Gumbi

Football Writer

Battle lines drawn as Chiefs host Sundowns

Whether it was mind games or serious talk will not matter when Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns take to the field at FNB Stadium to do battle in a potentially thrilling Absa Premiership match at 8.15pm tonight.

The war talk and threats this week in the build-up to tonight’s match have been labelled as just mind games between the coaches as Amakhosi’s Steve Komphela and Masandawana’s Pitso Mosimane pondered on how they might line up for the match.

Mosimane left almost everyone in shock when he declared that he might go the conservative way, and sit back as his team are visitors and a draw would be an acceptable result for them.

“Maybe I will play with five at the back,” said Mosimane. “I’m responding to what the log says. We don’t want to lose. We must be smart. We might not win, but we are not losing this one.

“This is a big game. I wish I can play this game with a fully fit team. But I can’t complain. We are going to be smart. We won’t play into their hands. We know how they play. I also want to use speed and play the counter-attack. Maybe I will play counter-attack. We can also be conservative, why not?” he added.

And as if to cloud the issue further, he added: “I don’t play mind games. I’m serious.” If Mosimane were to really use this strategy, it would be hard to find fault with it as he wants to maintain his lead at the top and also prepare his team to be conservative at times which will benefit them hugely when they begin their Caf Champions League campaign.”

Komphela, however, will have other ideas as only a win will be good enough for his team who are desperate for some silverware to erase the unpleasant memories of the past two and half years the Glamour Boys faithful have had to endure.

“The statistics say we are five points behind but we still need to be calm and play our usual game. We must look at all that gave us success and we must carry that with us in this game. It is a big one. Sundowns want to stretch the gap and we want to keep it at two. It is also about focus.

It’s more mental than anything else. It’s not a title decider per se because there are still a lot of matches to be played. But it’s a six pointer. It will boost whoever wins. This one is crucial, it’s direct confrontation,” said Komphela.

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