Rulani Mokwena wary of Pyramids quality and strength in Cairo

Rulani Mokwena wary of Pyramids quality and strength in Cairo

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rhulani Mokwena says Pyramids’ Egyptian Premier League game last Thursday gave him a glimpse of how they could line up in this evening’s crunch CAF Champions League clash in Cairo.

Pyramids had four players absent when they travelled to South Africa and played to a goalless draw against Sundowns – one of those was DR Congo international Fiston Mayele, who was alleged to have been denied a visa to enter the country. 

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However, during their hard-fought 2-2 draw at home against Baladiyat El Mahala, Mayele and other key players were among the starting 11, who Mokwena says posed a major threat.

"Based on analysis, I got a glimpse of Pyramids' midweek game on Thursday when they played to a 2-2 draw – in fact, it's a game they should have won," said Mokwena.

"There were four players that didn't start against us that started that league game – [Abdallah] Said, their captain, had a very good game, [Ahmed] Fathi started and had a good game, [Fiston] Mayele was up front, and [Ali] Gabr was playing.

"But it's still a very strong team, [they're] aggressive in the midfield with a lot of intensity, and Fagrie Lakay will always be busy and looking for space behind; they've got very good full-backs, so it's a good team with a lot of very good players."

The two sides meet at at the 30 June Stadium, with kick-off scheduled for 18:00 this evening 

Sundowns failed to win and score in their last two Champions League matches – losing to Mazembe away and drawing at home against Pyramids. 

This will be their fourth game of the campaign, with all four teams in the group tied on four points, but the African Football League-winning mentor is not bothered as he believes there are still enough games to decide the group.

"We know we've got three games to go, and in those three games we've got enough within us to make sure that we get a result," added Mokwena.

"We've got two away matches, first this one in Cairo and then we've got to go to Mauritania, which will be very difficult because it's also on an artificial pitch and the conditions are extremely difficult with regards to the weather.

"And then we finish off [at home], hopefully by then we know what we need to do against Mazembe to make sure we not only qualify from the group but also finish first.

"But let's take it one game at a time because we've got some very difficult games before the end of the year, and we just have to go one game at a time and give it everything we have."

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