Sundowns struggling for fit squad ahead of crunch Pirates clash

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Mamelodi Sundowns are struggling to have all their players fit and available for selection for their crunch DStv Premiership match against Orlando Pirates on Saturday.

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Fans of the DStv Premiership haven’t had to wait long in 2021 for the biggest clash of the domestic season to date.

Sundowns have played their last few games without Themba Zwane, Hlompho Kekana and Kermit Erasmus due to a mixture of injuries and illness.

The absence of Zwane has been of particular concern for Sundowns fans as he is the joint top-scorer in the DStv Premiership with seven goals to date.

Despite their absence, co-coach Rhulani Mokwena remains confident that Sundowns will turn up with a strong team at Loftus Versfeld.

‘WE ARE STRUGGLING WITH CERTAIN PLAYERS’

“The squad status in relation to unavailability of certain players hasn’t changed, we’re still struggling a little bit with certain players in regards to injuries and many other medical conditions,” Mokwena told the club’s media team.

“Because we need to be extra careful and extremely sensitive because we are still in the middle of the pandemic and any signs of illness and any other potential related issues are taken seriously and with the advice of our doctors. We try to adhere to the caution and red flags raised from our medical department.”

“In the absence of some players it gives an opportunity to other players. We have seen how Mothobi Mvala has come up. Mothobi has scored two goals in two games and has put up his hand to say ‘I have the capacity to play for Mamelodi Sundowns’ and he has shown that.

“So at times another man’s poison is another man’s meat. We just have to continue to make sure we put the best eleven possible and put our focus on the game against Orlando Pirates,” Mokwena added.

SUNDOWNS AND PIRATES SEPARATED BY 5 POINTS

The Brazilians and Buccaneers are both unbeaten this season, but are separated by five points in the standings thanks to the fact Sundowns have won five of their eight matches to date, while Pirates have only played seven matches – and won three of those.

Kick-off on Saturday is at 15:30.

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