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Football | Absa Premiership

United eyeing three points over CT City



SuperSport United will be hoping to return to winning ways when they host Cape Town City in the Absa Premiership on Saturday afternoon at Mbombela Stadium.

Kick-off is at 3:30pm CAT (SA, GMT+2)

Fresh from a 0-0 draw against Orlando Pirates in the midweek match, the Tshwane giants are hoping to bag the full three points in Nelspruit.

Coach Eric Tinkler will welcome his previous team in search of a win to ensure he narrows the gap between his side and log leaders, Mamelodi Sundowns.

The CAF Confederation Cup finalists are looking at collecting points as they play catch up games in the league - they sit at number 10 with 14 points from seven matches.

Losing to TP Mazembe in the CAF Confed Cup final and beating Ajax Cape Town in the league means United have bagged four points from their last two league games.

Meeting a luke-warm City puts them as favourites, but coach Benedict McCarthy will be hoping to get a win and reclaim their spot on the log table.

City on the other hand, are fresh from a 4-2 loss against Maritzburg United on Tuesday and two draws against Baroka FC as well as Golden Arrows.

The Citizens are placed at No 6 on the table with 17 points from 12 league games and are out to return to the top of the table with a win.

With the Mother City side having lost the MTN8 to Amatsantsantsa A Pitori, the match is set to be a thrilling affair.

PREVIOUS STARTING XIs

SuperSport: Pieterse, Nhlapo, Daniels, Gould, Boateng, Furman, Letsholonyane, Phala, Mokoena, Modiba, Brockie

Cape Town City: Walters; Johannes, Gumede, Fielies, Dove, Martin, Nodada, Matsi, Masina, Patosi, Majoro

WHAT THE TEAMS ARE SAYING

SUPERSPORT UNITED COACH ERIC TINKLER

“Now we have 14 points from seven games‚ so we’re still there. And I explained to the players that if we can collect at least 14 from the available 18 points from games in hand we could find ourselves at Christmas being top of the league and we would still have four games in hand,” said Tinkler.

“Because none of the games are going to be easy.

“When you’re playing Pirates‚ for coaches it’s quite easy because you know that the motivation‚ determination and work ethic will be there.

“Your worry becomes when you go to the Free State Stars’ and Barokas. Teams that win leagues are teams who get points against those teams.

“Personally‚ I would have preferred to get the three points (against Pirates) to try and keep that draw for later. Because the trips to the Free State and Baroka will not be easy.

“So now we know that there’s one draw gone. We can afford one more. But we need wins – and then we can find ourselves there.”

CAPE TOWN CITY COACH BENNI MCCARTHY

"I don't want to make excuses like that (travelling), but of course it's not normal when you play your home game that you've got to get on a plane to go and play," said McCarthy.

"Already leading up to the game players were complaining about the travelling and now they have to travel back.

“On Friday it's back to Joburg and then Nelspruit (for the SuperSport game) so it is a lot of travelling... it's unheard of.

"But this is the case and we have to face that. We decided to choose Princess Magogo Stadium to come and play so we shouldn't make that as an excuse… it was an easy option to take.

"What happens when you play well, you control the game but you don't kill off the opposition. When you create chances and you have the opposition on the ropes, sometimes playing good football doesn't help.”

KEY PLAYERS FOR SUPERPORT UNITED

Morgan Gould: The Bafana Bafana defender will be tasked with stopping the likes of Lehlohonolo Majoro and Ayanda Patosi to help the team return to winning ways. His partnership with Clayton Daniels will be key for them as they want to collect as many points before the Christmas break.

Aubrey Modiba: Modiba is enjoying his football under Tinkler and has scored crucial goals for the team when it gets tough. Coming from the Citizens, his aim is to score again and help as they want to retain the maximum points.

KEY PLAYERS FOR CAPE TOWN CITY

Shu-Aib Walters:One of the experienced goalkeepers in the league, Walters will want to erase their 4-2 loss and ensure he does not concede this time around. Facing his former coach is also set to bring emotions, but the three points is the bigger picture.

Mpho Matsi: Matsi will relish the opportunity to play in Nelspruit as he is familiar with the surroundings from his days at Mpumalanga Black Aces. Although they lost to the Team of Choice, Matsi will have to battle it out in the heart of the park against the likes of Reneilwe Letsholonyane.



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