Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane admits they will have their work cut out in trying to tame Orlando Pirates’ Zambian duo of Justin Shonga and Augustine Mulenga.
Shonga and Mulenga are likely to start when table-toppers Pirates visit defending Absa Premiership champions Sundowns at Loftus Stadium on Saturday (15h30).
Mosimane has previously spoken about Shonga signing on the dotted line for Sundowns, but despite the coach’s adamance that the player put pen to paper on a contract with the Brazilians, the 22-year-old forward ended up wearing the famous black and white of the Buccaneers.
Now Sundowns have to make sure they keep out the player who is on a high after breaking his scoring drought in Pirates’ 2-1 victory over Polokwane City on Tuesday.
“Shonga was here, I saw him signing. I was sitting on the table when he was signing. But anyway, their combination is good and they shoot well. They have the proper technique to score and they have power. They are typical Zambian players,” the former Bafana Bafana coach said.
“The way they play is typical Zambia style – that’s how they play. That’s how Zesco play; full of energy, movement.”
Mosimane’s centre-backs, who are not the fastest, will have to make sure they position themselves well to keep out the Zambian pair. Motjeka Madisha and Mosa Lebusa are likely to start for Sundowns in central defence.
Their mission is to ensure the strikers do not get a lot of time and space in the box to do as they please.
“Do you remember Alje Schut and Thabo Nthethe? We’ve never had the quickest centre-backs, but if you really look we don’t concede [much]. In the five years I have been here, probably we have conceded less goals than anybody else and I have had those kind of centre-backs,” Mosimane said.
“Sometimes it’s the intelligence, positioning. People like [Ricardo] Nascimento is not fast, but he knows how to position himself.”