Mamelodi Sundowns have done their homework on the aptly named Equatorial Guinean champions – Liones Vegetarianos – who host them in the preliminary tie of the African Champions League in Malabo on Wednesday.
Newly appointed Black Leopards coach, a former Arcadia Shepherds left wingback Dylan Kerr, revealed that he received a call from Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane enquiring about the team, their venue and how they play shortly after the fixture came out.
Kerr led his former team – Gor Mahia – against the same team twice and after narrowly edging them out 1-0 in Malabo, registered a comfortable 2-0 victory in Nairobi, but he confesses that they are a hard-working outfit.
“I told Pitso that they (Vegetarianos) have an exceptionally good goalkeeper,” said Kerr. “I also told him that they are a hard-running lot. They will run, they will scrape and they will not give up, even when they are losing and there are a few minutes left on the clock.
“They do not give up. They have a fantastic stadium which I strongly believe will suite Sundowns in their passing game. But player-for-player, Sundowns should edge this one easily, although CAF matches are never cast in stone.”
Sundowns travelled to Malabo over the weekend and have been in the Central African country to acclimatize, with Liberian Anthony Laffor likely to lead the charge alongside Jeremy Brockie and backed by Gaston Sirino attacking slightly behind them from the hole.
But as Leopards coach has hinted, CAF matches are never easy to predict and there are always outside forces at play that could make it extremely difficult to win.