AFRICAN CLUB COMPETITIONS
Sundowns should gobble up the Vegetarian Lions
SA’s quartet of clubs in African club competitions begin a quest for continental glory this week.
None of Mamelodi Sundowns or Orlando Pirates in the Champions league‚ nor Kaizer Chiefs or Free State Stars in the Confederation Cup, were given a bye at the start of their competitions and so will have to play the maximum number of games if they are to lift the trophy.
For the Champions League duo that means adding 16 games to an already packed domestic schedule‚ while for Chiefs and Stars it is a potential extra 18 games between now and May.
Pirates return to the Champions League on Wednesday for the first time since they were finalists in 2013 with coach Micho Sredojevic having stressed it is a vital competition.
It is the reason they made large-scale additions to their squad in all positions in the previous transfer window.
They have been given a gentle start against Seychelles side Light Stars.
Bucs play the second leg in the Seychelles next week and face a mad dash home to travel to Port Elizabeth for a Telkom Knockout decider with Baroka.
Sundowns also get their campaign under way on Wednesday as they enter the Champions League for the fifth year in succession.
They are away at Equatorial Guinea side Leones Vegetarianos‚ translated as |Vegetarian Lions, on Wednesday and though it should be a routine assignment‚ Sundown have this season managed to be their own worst enemies.
Kaizer Chiefs have decided to take their Confederation Cup match with Zanzibar minnows Zimamoto to Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Wednesday.
Even for this stuttering Chiefs team‚ this should be a handsome win and coach Giovanni Solinas is likely to use fringe players.
Free State Stars play Rwandan side Mukura Victory Sports at BidVest Stadium in Johannesburg — to cut costs.