Reports & Previews

Sundowns' Coetzee highlights crucial midfield battle

Mamelodi Sundowns defender Rivaldo Coetzee believes Saturday afternoon's clash with Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium will be decided in the middle of the park.

As both sides like to keep the ball on the deck and work it forward to the attacking players, Coetzee thinks the team that gains control of the midfield zone will be able to control the flow of the game.

And, with Chiefs and Sundowns both keeping clean sheets in all of their last three fixtures in all competitions, Coetzee says Downs "need to be precise" when they get into dangerous areas.

"Chiefs and Sundowns like to keep the ball on the ground, play out from the back and go through the midfield, and then exploit the spaces further upfront. So I think it will all be won or lost in the midfield," Coetzee told reporters.

"If we can control it there, then basically you have a little bit more control than the opponents. We'll have a little bit of an advantage. But football is about situations, so it depends which spaces you exploit.

"We need to be precise and know how to use the ball and be aware when we lose the ball."

Chiefs will be targeting a second straight victory after recording a 1-0 win over SuperSport United in mid-December while Sundowns are the only remaining unbeaten team in South Africa's top flight.