Billiat signature is everything ahead of Saturday’s clash of the titans.But while the Mamelodi Sundowns coach may have a point about his side’s clashes with SuperSport United producing a goal or two, what he didn’t mention was the one-sidedness of the Tshwane Derby in recent years.
As they clash in their Absa Premiership season opener on Saturday (Lucas Moripe Stadium, 3pm), Sundowns may be forgiven for assuming victory over Matsatsantsa has already been secured, such has been their dominance over their rivals.
SuperSport will be looking to halt a six-match losing streak, with the Brazilians having done the double over them in three successive seasons. In fact, SuperSport last won a league match against Sundowns in 2013 under Gavin Hunt. But heading into Saturday, Matsatsantsa will be counting on coach Eric Tinkler to end the drought.
Four of his predecessors – Cavin Johnson, Kaitano Tembo (interim), Gordon Igesund and Stuart Baxter – all felt the wrath of Sundowns, with Baxter suffering the heaviest beating, a 5-0 pasting this year.
But Tinkler goes into the match as the only man to have done a double over Sundowns last season, having beaten them home and away with Cape Town City.
He had a great start to his term at Matsatsantsa last weekend, booting Kaizer Chiefs out of the MTN8. “Of course, I have belief that we can win,” Tinkler said this week.
“My objective is to win every game and we have to go there thinking we can do it. But we are talking about Sundowns here, a team with great quality.”
Sundowns are not without problems, with Mosimane conceding last week’s cup defeat at home to Maritzburg United was due to lack of sharpness after a long season.
But their biggest challenge could be distraction caused by want-away forward Khama Billiat, who has refused to sign a new contract.