Mamelodi Sundowns and ?Cape Town City square off at Loftus Versveld for a PSL league encounter on Monday, with the Brazilians hoping to in Kaizer Chiefs at the top of the league table.
Chiefs staged an incredible comeback from two goals down with 20 minutes to play over the weekend, to beat Polokwane City 3-2.
It was the type of win that is more than the three points, and is also a statement. This really threw the gauntlet down to Sundowns, who now must respond. Should Sundowns beat Cape Town City and Maritzburg and Chiefs lose midweek, then Masandawana would draw level on games played and points won.
This would set up next week?s Sundowns-Chiefs clash as a potential winner-takes-all title-decider.
Yet, if Chiefs win on Wednesday night and Sundowns fail to win against both Cape Town City and Maritzburg this week, then they could find themselves lagging well behind.
The gap could grow to as much as nine points, with just five games to play. The last thing Sundowns want is to render the 27 August clash with Chiefs a formality.
Ahead of Monday night?s clash, we briefly analysed Sundowns past two games, which both ended in draws. In particular, we looked at their shot maps from both matches.
In terms of shots taken and on target, Sundowns improved immensely from their 0-0 draw against Orlando Pirates where they mustered just one shot on target (above).
In that game, Pirates outshot Sundowns in the match, the first time this has happened to Sundowns since the opening game of the 2020 calendar year.
Pirates also had many more shots in much more dangerous positions, and were denied by some last ditch defending.
They improved on that front in the next game against Highlands Park (below), with most of the chances coming from the right side and centrally.
Although they allowed Highlamds Park shots in dangerous areas, Sundowns also shot in good positions themselves. The 1-1 scoreline is probably a good reflection of the game.
They come up against a Cape Town City side that is enjoying a good run of results. They have lost just one of their last six games since mid-January.
However, they have also been solid in their last two games, keeping clean sheets in their last game before the suspension of the league and their first game since the restart. Another clean sheet will see them keep three clean sheets in a row for the first time in two seasons. This promises to be a cracker of a game.