TS Galaxy vs Mamelodi Sundowns is the game to watch in the Carling Knockout Cup, with the Brazilians having a seeming air of invincibility.
Masandawana will be guests of the Rockets in a tie many expect to be a routine runout for Sundowns.
Galaxy is not having the best season and would need to be at their superlative best to stand a chance against Sundowns.
They are at the lower end of the table with nine points from eight games. It comes to two wins and three draws.
A new horizon as we have a new trophy to battle for! Our #CarlingKnockout quest begins tomorrow! 👆
— Mamelodi Sundowns FC (@Masandawana) October 17, 2023
The tie is akin to David vs Goliath, but would David win this time? Sundowns have been invincible this season. They are yet to lose any league game, with a perfect record of eight wins from eight games.
Their only fallibility this season came in the final of the MTN8, where they lost to Orlando Pirates via penalties after a 0-0 draw.
So, what do we expect from the TS Galaxy vs Mamelodi Sundowns tie?
TS Galaxy vs Mamelodi Sundowns possible lineups
Themba Zwane, Audrey Modiba, Ronwen Williams, Mothobi Mvala and Khuliso Mudau could all miss the TS Galaxy vs Mamelodi Sundowns tie in the inaugural Carling Knockout Cup tournament.
The match against TS Galaxy will be on October 18 at the Mbombela Stadium, and it may have come too early for them.
The fixture is on the same day Bafana Bafana are due to return from Abidjan after their international friendly with Ivory Coast.
Zwane and Modiba played against the Eswatini national team. The game ended 0-0 in Johannesburg. The other players – Mvala, Williams and Mudau were on the bench.
Rushine De Reuck or Brian Onyango could replace Mvala in centre-back, except the manager decides to alter his formation and play two centre-backs.
Terence Mashego is the most likely replacement for Aubrey Modiba. Here is the likely lineup for the TS Galaxy vs Mamelodi Sundowns game.
Vasilije Kolak (GK), Mpho Mvelase, MacBeth Kamogelo Mahlangu, Pogiso Sanoka, Solomon Letsoenyo, Mlungisi Mbunjana, Bernard Melvin Parker, Higor Felipe Vidal, Lindokuhle Mbatha, Sphiwe Mahlangu, Samir Nurkovic
Reyaad Pieterse (GK), Grant Kekana, Mosa Lebusa, Brian Onyango, Rivaldo Coetzee, Bongani Zungu, Terence Mashego, Thapelo Maseko, Junior Leandro Mendieta, Thapelo Morena, Peter Shalulile
— TS Galaxy FC (@TSGALAXYFC) October 16, 2023
Sundowns to win
The Masandawana are riding high this season. They would want to show that the MTN8 final loss to the Orlando Pirates was just an insignificant blip.
Their eight straight league wins is unprecedented in the PSL, and TS Galaxy would find them a hard nut to crack.
Despite the expected fatigue of some of their players returning from international duties, they have more than enough in the tank to overcome TS Galaxy.
Both sides to score
Due to the international break, both sides may not be at their peak. Mamelodi Sundowns should be the worst hit, but they should still be able to win.
The situation surrounding the game should be enough to allow TS Galaxy to score at least once.
We don't expect too many goals, with 2-1 or 3-0 the most likely scoreline. TS Galaxy is not a high-scoring side. They have not scored more than a goal per game in the league this season.
We expect this trend to continue.
TS Galaxy vs Mamelodi Sundowns Head-to-Head
In the last six league meetings, TS Galaxy has beaten the Brazilians once and managed two goals against them. It is an unwanted record, and the Rockets would want a change in the Carling Knockout tournament.
Sundowns have five wins, with their last outing a close 2-1 win.
Can the Brazilians continue their dominance over Galaxy? They can take confidence from their run against them with their biggest win, a 3-0 triumph in September 2021 and March 2022.
The TS Galaxy vs Mamelodi Sundowns clash is one to watch.
|TS Galaxy vs Mamelodi Sundowns Head-to-Head|
|Premier League||2023/01/24||TS Galaxy||1 – 2||Mamelodi Sundowns|
|Premier League||2022/08/10||Mamelodi Sundowns||0 – 1||TS Galaxy|
|Premier League||2022/03/02||TS Galaxy||0 – 3||Mamelodi Sundowns|
|Premier League||2021/09/19||Mamelodi Sundowns||3 – 0||TS Galaxy|
|Premier League||2021/05/09||TS Galaxy||0 – 1||Mamelodi Sundowns|
|Premier League||2020/12/15||Mamelodi Sundowns||2 – 0||TS Galaxy|
PSL allows Mamelodi Sundowns to play in the AFL
Premier Soccer League (PSL) – who threatened to disrupt the African Football League (AFL) – made an about-turn on Friday and gave Mamelodi Sundowns their blessing to participate in the brand-new continental competition.
A few days ago, the BOG, the highest decision-making body for the league, unanimously voted in support of a decision to bar Masandawana from taking part in the competition.
Now that the Brazilians can play, coach Rulani Mokwena will be highly relieved.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago