The Gauteng giants clash at Loftus Versfeld on Sunday and the Masandawana coach feels Chiefs’ league form is deceiving
Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena has refused to see much into Kaizer Chiefs’ position on the Premier Soccer League table, saying their coach Gavin Hunt “knows what he is doing.”
The Brazilians are looking to extend their six-point lead at the top of the PSL standings while 11th-placed Amakhosi are keen to brighten their top-eight hopes.
With Chiefs having failed to win their last three league games including a 2-1 defeat by Cape Town City in their last outing, Mokwena feels those results do not make their opponents less competitive.
“Chiefs are still a very big club; they deserve a lot of respect. The fixture between Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs is always one that is highly-anticipated and, of course, brings a lot of attention because of the magnitude of both clubs,” Mokwena told Sundowns media.
“But the reality is that because it is Kaizer Chiefs, you have to be very sober-minded when you do your analysis and not derive anything from their log position and their unfortunate result against Cape Town City.
“They’re a good team, a big team, Chiefs, we have a lot of respect for them with a very good coach in Gavin Hunt – he is experienced, he knows what he is doing, and he needs a little bit more time. But a very good coach who has a lot of experience. He is someone I have great admiration and huge respect for.”
Sundowns go into this match after failing to win in their last two games; being knocked out of the Nedbank Cup by Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila and a 0-0 draw against AmaZulu on Wednesday.
Mokwena takes time to profile the Chiefs’ players he feels can hurt Sundowns as he continues praising “big coach” Hunt.
“They still have very good players, with huge pedigree and very good experience. Khama [Billiat), [Samir] Nurkovic, [Lebogang] Manyama and some very good youngsters in [Kearyn] Baccus, [Njabulo] Blom who can play with Baccus as a double pivot,” said Mokwena.
“They also have [Nkosingiphile] Ngcobo, who is doing exceptionally well. So, when you think of that and you profile them – a big club with big players and a big coach, so you know it’s going to be a big match. They make a lot of changes but the interesting thing is that they still got the big players back.”
Chiefs forward Leonardo Castro is expected to start after recovering from a broken nose.