Will Sundowns become overconfident or complacent and allow USM Alger a route back in the CAFCL? Read our preview and prediction for the return match between these two teams. Kickoff is at 3pm CAT on, Saturday, 11th January, 2020.
Sundowns Probable XI: Onyango – Ngcongca, Arendse, Madisha, Langerman – Morena, Jali, Kekana, Zwane – Sirino, Affonso (4-4-2)
USM Alger Probable XI: Zemmamouche – Meftah, Kheiraoui, Hamra, Cherifi – Benkhelifa, Koudri – Ardji, Benhamouda, Zouari – Benchaa (4-2-3-1)
What is at stake?
Mamelodi Sundowns has emerged as the most impressive team of the CAFCL, with half of the matches played. But these things change very fast. It will be crucial for Pitso Mosimane’s team to avoid either overconfidence or complacency in ensuring they finish top of Group C. A win here is also important because it will lock the quarterfinal door on USM Alger.
The Algerian team is unlikely to have, playmaker, Ellafi back for this match. The Libyan player is key for the side but also missed this encounter in Blida. Nevertheless, USM Alger has little room for error. Anything less than a win will see them bid goodbye to their title hopes. At the moment, the team still has an outside chance of advancing.
What will the match be like?
USM Alger will be desperate for a result. This does not necessarily mean that, coach, Dziri will set up the Algerian team to control the match in Pretoria. They might as well benefit from the counter-attacking opportunities that Sundowns will leave bare for them. Unfortunately, USM Alger has been poor at scoring goals going by their last few matches.
This is not a problem that Sundowns shares. They are able to put any African team to the sword at any point of the match. But it will be interesting to observe if the recent overload of matches will have an effect on Masandawana. They usually avoid these problems thanks to squad depth but this time they also face pressure of a domestic title race.
Sundowns 2-0 USM Alger
It is hard to look beyond a Sundown win. USM Alger do not have the quality to dominate an away match in South Africa. In fact, they may end up relying more on a smash and grab. This does not compare well to the fact that Sundowns are pretty consistent in their style of play and are blessed with real quality.