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'Wounded Kaizer Chiefs are a threat, more than motivated' - Mamelodi Sundowns' Maema

9:31 PM SGT 19/1/23
Neo Maema, Mamelodi Sundowns, January 2023
Mamelodi Sundowns attacker Neo Maema is wary of the threat posed by Kaizer Chiefs ahead of the two sides’ Premier Soccer League clash on Saturday.
  • Sundowns visit Chiefs this weekend
  • They are on an 11-match winning run
  • But Maema is not getting carried away

WHAT HAPPENED? Chiefs have been struggling in the PSL campaign so far and have 19 points fewer than Masandawana. They have lost their last two league matches, including a 4-0 humiliation by AmaZulu last week.

Fresh from the Usuthu defeat, Arthur Zwane’s men now face Sundowns who have been on a roll, winning 11 consecutive league games.

However, Maema is refusing to read into Sundowns' top form and feels Chiefs can upset them as Amakhosi seek to pick themselves.

WHAT MAEMA SAID: “Chiefs are a big team and no one should take them lightly,” said Maema as per Sowetan Live.

“We are actually aware of the threat they are going to pose because it is always difficult to play a wounded team coming from that result. I know they would want to change that with us because they will come more than motivated, it is a big clash, but we are ready for the challenge.

“We take every opponent we play against very seriously no matter how they play. Ours is to win football matches and make sure that come Saturday, we are ready to fight away from home.”

AND WHAT MORE? Sundowns have been smashing records in recent seasons, starting with winning consecutive PSL titles, which now stand at five straight seasons.

Their 11 successive PSL wins surpass the 2013/14 record which they set, but Maema is not concerned about that.

“It is always good collectively as a group of hard workers...from the coaches, staff down to the players to break records, but what is more important is to focus on our goals in this new cycle of games to make sure we get it successful like the previous one,” said Maema.

“We are fighting for each other...from the coach and the technical team to the players. All of us are giving our bit to actually stay together and fight for each other. I think that helps us to stay together and win football matches.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The build-up to Saturday’s match has seen so much criticism surrounding Amakhosi. It remains to be seen if the Soweto giants will shake that off and pull off a surprise on Saturday.

Some of the criticism is about the quality of Amakhosi players, as well as Zwane’s capacity to lead a huge football institution like Chiefs.

STORY IN TWO PICTURES:

WHAT NEXT FOR CHIEFS AND SUNDOWNS? Zwane is preparing his side to cause an upset on Saturday while Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena will want to help his side maintain their momentum.