Mamelodi Sundowns v Maritzburg United
Mamelodi Sundowns will be looking to return to winning ways when they face Maritzburg United at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday.
Sundowns will still be licking their wounds after being knocked out of the MTN8 with a 2-0 defeat to Tshwane rivals SuperSport United.
Brazilians coach Pitso Mosimane is keen for his side to put that disappointment behind them as quickly as possible. Mosimane also said the loss would not precipitate him in to making any major changes to his tactics or lineup.
"I am not the kind of coach who will always says let's go back to the drawing board. I don't take that," said the Masandawana mentor.
"It's a game, we lost and we move on and accept. Don't make excuses when we lost fairly. We lost, we take it, I go home and understand other games we lose but there are other games that we will win.
"We had a party last week [in the CAF Champions League match], tonight [Wednesday] is not a party. We have a game on Saturday to fight for."
It should be a comfortable three points on paper for the defending champions as they come up against the lowest-ranked PSL team of last season that remain in the league.
Maritzburg are without a win thus far this season and have picked up just the two points from four matches, despite the early-season fixture list being kind to them by pitting them against Golden Arrows (0-1), Highlands Park (1-1), Stellenbosch FC (0-0) and Black Leopards (0-1).
Team of Choice boss Eric Tinkler would have been especially disappointed with the 1-0 defeat to Leopards, with Judas Moseamedi missing a penalty which would have seen his side come away with at least a point.
“There was the disappointment of a loss against Black Leopards‚” Tinkler said.
“The team performed very well on the evening. And again our biggest problem was we haven’t been scoring.
“And we missed a penalty. We could have at least taken a point‚ but we ended up with zero points. That was a massive disappointment to everyone."
Maritzburg may take a little while to shake off their rustiness, having last played a competitive fixture on August 28 due to the international break. However, Tinkler says the club have made allowances for that by getting the squad to play a couple of friendlies in the intervening period.
“Psychologically I do think it affected the players. And what’s been important over these past three weeks has been to try and re-motivate the players and try to get them back into a winning mentality.
“We played a quite a few friendly games to try and rebuild that confidence‚ and I think the players have responded positively.
“The fact that you’re playing a massive game now against Mamelodi Sundowns‚ what you do know is that the players will be motivated.
“It’s going to be a tough task. But‚ you also know there are no guarantees in this league. Any team can beat any team. And if we can put on a good performance on the day‚ we can go there and collect maximum points.
“Nothing stops us from achieving that‚ in my opinion. And that’s what we hope to achieve. Because obviously a win is very important for us right no moving forward."