Mwanjali: Downs will survive without Mphela
Mamelodi Sundowns defender Method Mwanjali is confident the Premiership leaders will manage without Katlego Mphela if the key striker is unfit for their clash against Platinum Stars in Atteridgeville on Wednesday night.
The Brazillians are tied with Orlando Pirates on 46 points ahead of the midweek fixtures, though they hold a narrow advantage with a superior goal difference, and Mwanjali believed they could open a gap at the top of the standings.
Mphela, the first-choice Bafana Bafana striker, picked up a hamstring injury in their 2-0 Nedbank Cup quarterfinal win over Maritzburg United at the weekend.
“We have enough ammunition,” Mwanjali said.
“At the moment he [Mphela] is injured, but there are a lot of players who can come in and play.”
Mwanjali said Downs coach Johan Neeskens had found a winning formula, pushing his side hard throughout his first season in charge.
Neeskens is the only manager of the ‘big three’ clubs—Sundowns, Chiefs and Pirates—to have held on to his job during the current campaign.
‘Keep working hard’
“Our coach has just been telling us that we have to keep working hard and winning games and the win this weekend gave us a lot of confidence,” Mwanjali said.
The Brazilians, however, would be wary of a Stars outfit eager to move into the top half of the table.
Stars have lost only one of their last seven league matches.
“They will come at us so we just have to try and make sure we pick up a crucial win,” he said.
“They are a good team and they’ve been doing well of late.
“We have to respect them and will just do our best to win the game.”
In the other big game on Wednesday evening, title chasers Swallows and Pirates will meet in a Soweto derby clash in Dobsonville.
Elsewhere, Santos host SuperSport United at Athlone Stadium, while Jomo Cosmos will look to climb off the bottom of the table when they face Bloemfontein Celtic in Port Elizabeth.
Free State Stars will take a break from their giant-killing antics in the Nedbank Cup when they square up against Black Leopards, third from bottom, at Charles Mopeli Stadium.
AmaZulu, also coming off a cup quarterfinal victory at the weekend, will host Golden Arrows in Durban.
Ajax Cape Town travel to Bidvest Stadium to take on Wits in a bid to improve their mid-table position.—Sapa. .