MAMELODI Sundowns will have to overcome their hectic schedule if they are to keep their hopes of ending the 2018-19 Absa Premiership season with a double alive.
They are well on track in the Caf Champions League, following their emphatic 3-0 win over Lobi Stars on Saturday as they go in search of their second continental title in three years.
In the Absa Premiership, Masandawana currently occupy second spot and are determined to defend their title.
However, they don’t only have the likes of Orlando Pirates, Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City to contend with, but also a tough schedule that threatens to derail them from their aspirations.
A mere three days after their battle with Lobi, Downs have another important match away to relegation threatened Maritzburg United – a top versus bottom kind of clash.
The game takes place at Harry Gwala Stadium tonight (7.30pm).
It will not be a walk in the park for Downs against a team fighting for their lives at the bottom of the log.
The Team of Choice will also be looking for a response following their narrow 1-0 loss to Kaizer Chiefs at the weekend.
“This Maritzburg match is another big game, hey,” said Downs coach Pitso Mosimane.
“But we are used to playing every three days. That’s what happens when you are a big team like Sundowns. Even if you check other big teams in Europe, the likes of Real Madrid had to play against Barcelona on Saturday, then play against Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday, before playing again in the league in four days... It happens.”
Some of Mosimane’s substitutions against Lobi suggested he had one eye on this clash.
Tiyani Mabunda, Gaston Sirino and Anthony Laffor were pulled off in the second half, with the game done and dusted as a contest.
After their match against Maritzburg, Downs will have to immediately turn their attention back to the Champions League.
The Tshwane giants have another massive game against 2017 champions Wydad Casablanca at the Stade Prince Moulay Abdallah in Rabat on Saturday (6pm).
Mosimane’s charges only need a draw against the Moroccans to retain top spot in Group A and avoid some of the big boys in the next round.
“It’s a very important game (Wydad),” added Mosimane.
“You have to go there and play well if you want to keep top spot and avoid the big boys.
“But don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that the teams that will finish second are not good because at this level, everyone can beat anyone.”
The last time Sundowns met Maritzburg they won 1-0.
They would be hoping to do the same, and to continue challenging for the championship, something that would make their chairman Patrice Motsepe happy.