Sundowns aiming to avoid early upset in Nedbank Cup

Star-studded Mamelodi Sundowns are taking nothing for granted when they travel to giant-killers Richards Bay for their Nedbank Cup Last 32 clash on Friday evening.

Both teams are top of their respective divisions, with the GladAfrica Championship side having ousted Kaizer Chiefs at the same stage of the competition last season.

It will also be the first game for both since before Christmas following the long break for the festive season and the Africa Cup of Nations finals, adding a further level of uncertainty as to how they will play.

“This is one of the most difficult matches that any coach will want to play because everyone is expecting us to win. Those for me are the most difficult,” Sundowns co-coach Mngqithi says, before giving praise to opposite number Sifiso Dladla.

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“But I am also glad I will be playing against one of the coaches that is coming from my province [KwaZulu-Natal], that I like so much and shared a lot of information with.

“We think we have had a very nice preparation, the team is looking very interesting. We are having a lot of [selection] headaches because the team has a lot of good players.

“But that does not count in a game like this one. You know you must treat a game like this with a lot of respect and a lot of humility, and understand it will not be easy to play against Richards Bay because they are a team with a lot of pedigree in this tournament.

“It is a very difficult match, and all our preparations are geared towards making sure we do the best we can, play the game and give it all the respect it requires.”

Sundowns are looking to retain the title they last won in 2020, which would almost certainly hand them a treble this season having already won the MTN8 and looking on course for the DStv Premiership title as well. ©Mzansi Football

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