Stellenbosch FC welcome DStv Premiership log-leaders Mamelodi Sundowns to the Danie Craven Stadium on Sunday. Here are the thoughts of head coach Steve Barker ahead of the encounter.
Sunday’s meeting will be the ninth encounter between Stellenbosch FC and Mamelodi Sundowns.
The match will be played at the Danie Craven Stadium, with kick-off scheduled for 15:30.
Barker has backed his side to mount a strong challenge against the current league leaders
Barker’s side head into this weekend’s fixture on the back of a four-match winning streak across all competitions but will face stern opposition in the form of reigning champions and current log-leaders, Mamelodi Sundowns, who have lost just once this season in the league.
“It’s a great weekend to look forward to with us playing against Mamelodi Sundowns, and on the back of three league wins and a cup win, we can go into the game with belief and confidence,” Barker said.
“We obviously know that they are also on an incredible winning streak in the league and are currently the class act in our country, and even on the continent where they are one of the best team if not the best team, so it’s a massive opportunity.
“It’s an opportunity for our players to play against the best in the country and showcase their abilities, both individually and as a team, against the league’s reigning champions and champions-to-be.”
You can watch highlights of Stellenbosch FC’s most recent league fixture in the video below
With eight places and 29 points separating the teams in the league standings, the away side will arrive in Stellenbosch as favourites, but Barker is optimistic that his side can upset the odds by sticking to their game plan against Masandawana.
“It’s a massive chance for us to continue doing what we’ve been doing in our last few league encounters so I believe we can approach the game with a level of positivity and belief that we can get a result from the game,” he added. “To do that, we will have to play to our full potential.
“They’re obviously a team that has the ability to score and which has individual quality all around the pitch, so it goes without saying that we have to be really well structured, disciplined and defend really well, and that will lay a platform for us to create our own opportunities.
“And when we do, it’s all about playing with quality in the final third and taking those opportunities that we do create. We have to play well with the ball and without the ball in order to beat a team like Sundowns, and we are looking forward to the challenge on Sunday.”
Key fixture information:
Date: Sunday, 5 March 2023
Venue: Danie Craven Stadium, Stellenbosch
Tickets: R60 for Grand Stand and R40 for Open Stand (available at www.webtickets.co.za or any Pick ‘n Pay outlet)
Parking: Free parking is available at Welgevallen fields. Paid parking is available at Coetzenburg Centre.