Erwin Saavedra Mamelodi Sundowns

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena says Bolivian midfielder Erwin Saavedra remains unavailable for selection due to injury. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns BIG injury blow as new signing OUT of Al Ahly clash

Mamelodi Sundowns may have to face Al Ahly in their CAF Champions League clash on Saturday, 26 February without new signing Erwin Saavedra.

Erwin Saavedra Mamelodi Sundowns

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena says Bolivian midfielder Erwin Saavedra remains unavailable for selection due to injury. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns may have to face Al Ahly in their CAF Champions League clash on Saturday, 26 February without new signing Erwin Saavedra.

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The 25-year-old Bolivian was substituted in the 38th minute on Saturday in their CAF Champions League match against Sudanese side Al-Merrikh.

The match ended in a goalless draw.

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This Saturday, Mamelodi Sundowns will be facing Egyptian giants Al Ahly at the Cairo International Stadium hoping to inflict a defeat on – or pick up a draw at worst – against Pitso Mosimane’s side, who are the defending champions.

The Brazilians struggled at times in front of goal against Al-Merrikh. They had 12 shots at goal, but only ONE was on target.

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Meanwhile, in addition to Saavedra’s injury, Pavol Safranko, Gift Motupa and Gaston Sirino are all doubtful starters due to their respective injury concerns.

Mamelodi Sundowns face a tough task in Egypt

Masandawana’s co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi admits it’s a concern for them that Saavedra is injured, but they would find a solution to deal with their opponents.

“It’s just unfortunate that the Saavedra injury forced us to change the structure a little bit. That compromised our high press a bit. (Thabiso) Kutumela came on and did his best to try to help the team,” said Mngqithi.

“The reality is that we still have possibilities and depth within the squad. We’ve got to find the solutions. That’s why we are here as coaches. If we have no possibilities of using the strikers, that is the situation that is presented to us and therefore we’ve got to find different solutions to the problems.

“We worked on certain things in this break that we had, that in a different formation and structural attack, to try to see whether we could play a different way without some of our strikers.

“In the game against TS Galaxy, a friendly at Chloorkop, we worked on different schemes, different organisational forms and we were able to find a bit of joy. But it is what it is. It depends on how you want to look at it. I always say life is about perspective.

“It depends on which pair of glasses you want to use. You can look at it as a crisis, but sometimes that does not help you. When you look from the negative perspective, you are stuck in the possibilities of not even trying to find solutions. We try to be solution based leaders,” he added.

Kick-off on Saturday is scheduled for 21:00 SA time.

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