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Mamelodi Sundowns

Saavedra Doubtful, Can Downs Deal With Attacking Problem?

As the big Al Ahly clash looms, Mamelodi Sundowns face the possibility of being without their new signing Erwin Saavedra, while striker Peter Shalulile continues to struggle to find the back of the net. 

Saavedra was taken off in the first half of Sundowns' CAF Champions League group A tie against Sudanese outfit Al Merrikh on Saturday and it's unclear at this stage if he will be available for the next clash with Pitso Mosimane's defending champions, Ahly. The clash against Al Merrikh finished goalless, the first time they fail to score in 2021.

Sundowns had 12 shots on goal against Al Merrikh, but were unable to find the back of the net. This should be a casue for concern as they prepare to face Africa's most successful side this weekend. 

With Pavol Safranko, Gift Motupa and Gaston Sirino all doubts, and Shalulile struggling for form, Sundowns would definitely want to have Saavedra available as an option in attack against a usually solid Ahly side.

“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.

 “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 organizational 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." 

Sundowns are also concerned about these players:

 

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