Hlompho Kekana downplays Mamelodi Sundowns' Absa Premiership title credentials


The Brazilians currently lead the way at the summit of the table, with 22 points from 11 games, and still have four games in hand.

With the league race having lost steam in recent weeks while Baroka stood atop the standings despite a five-game winless run, Sundowns have been tipped as favourites after they took over the baton with a 4-0 thrashing of Bakgaga last week.

By the end of the year, Pitso Mosimane’s side could be up to seven points clear should they win their next three fixtures by next Tuesday, leaving only SuperSport United with a chance to keep up.

However, Kekana refused to get sucked into the title talk but emphasised the importance of capitalising on their games in hand before teams’ approaches change in the second round.

"It would be unfair of us to start thinking we can win the league now, because we've only played 11 games," defended Kekana.

"We just have to take each game at a time and make sure that we win. But I'd say we are on the right track at the moment, having won three games in a row.

"But it's not going to be easy in the second round because teams will be playing different to the way they're playing now. So, we just have to prepare and try to win our matches every time we play."

Downs next host Maritzburg United tonight at Loftus Versfeld, with the skipper wary of the counter-attacking threat they pose.

"Playing against Maritzburg is always difficult for us [because] they play on the break every time," he added.

"It’s always difficult when we play at home too because the expectations will be high. But as players we know it’s not going to be easy and we are aware of the dangermen, especially in their striking force – [Evans] Rusike and [Andrea] Fileccia.

"We will obviously have to give them respect. They won their last match with a big margin of goals, so we have to prevent them from playing their normal game and make sure we close them down.

"Hopefully we come out with the goal that we need to win the match."

Kick-off of the clash is set for 19h30.

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