Swallows out for solace at Downs

TSHWANE — Mamelodi Sundowns will host Moroka Swallows in an Absa Premiership match at Loftus Stadium tonight in the hope of finding their way into the top eight; kickoff at 7:30pm.

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The Brazilians welcome a wounded Swallows side to Loftus Stadium after the Dube Birds lost their 10th game of the season, 2-1 to AmaZulu over the weekend after starting the year off in good fashion, notably claiming a come-from-behind victory against rivals Orlando Pirates.

The Dube Birds coach Zeca Marques was livid after his side’s loss against Usuthu over the weekend, but he is confident that his side can bounce back today.

“Look, I did talk about this last Tuesday, that after beating Pirates we needed to beat AmaZulu, but it never happened. We played well against Pirates and today we did not play well,” Marques said.

“I know we will bounce back against Mamelodi Sundowns on Tuesday (today) as players always rise to the occasion against big teams, but these are the kind of matches we need to win against the non-big teams.”

Sundowns are unbeaten since the turn of the season and sit in 10th place on the log, with 23 points and a win for the Brazilians on Tuesday could see them into the top eight provided results in other matches go their way.

The Tshwane side has looked much better under the guidance of Pitso Mosimane and are currently unbeaten in eight games in all competitions.

The Dube Birds sit in 12th place on the Absa Premiership log, two places below their opponents. Swallows, though, are only one point behind Sundowns and victory will insure that Swallows leapfrog the Tshwane side.

Sundowns last game in the league ended in a one all draw against Golden Arrows.

Moreover, Sundowns have only managed to win five games so far this season and will be eager to up that tally against Swallows tonight.
Moroka Swallows will welcome back the services of Larry Cohen for their trip to Tshwane.

The defender who was brought into the side this year from fellow Premiership side Chippa United has made a great impression amongst the Dube Birds supports.

Cohen will again play a key role in the heart of the defence and has already grabbed his opportunity with both hands, notably being named man-of-the-match in his first start for the side.

“The opportunity came for me to join Swallows and I grabbed it with both hands. It’s an honour for me to be playing for a big team like Swallows, a club with so much heritage,” Cohen explained.

“Hopefully I can help bring back our glory days and we can start picking up some points in the league starting with Sundowns on Tuesday (today).”

Sundowns forward Edward Manqele is confident that his side can continue their unbeaten run and also praised the clubs’ supporters.

“We want to continue our unbeaten run and put on another sterling performance, especially for our supporters, who have proven to have found their voice again,” Manqele said. “Our supporters have also been our major source of inspiration in our turnaround of fortunes.”

The two sides have met three times so far this season with Swallows having the upper hand.

They played to a 3-3 draw in their first meeting in the MTN8 with Swallows winning the return leg 3-2. The sides met in the Absa Premiership in September last year with Swallows again running out victors by two goals to zero.

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