Rulani Mokwena and the rest of the technical team at Mamelodi Sundowns could be in for a big surprise from Orlando Pirates on Thursday, if the comments by head coach Josef Zinnbauer are anything to go by.
The Buccaneers are scheduled to visit Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld Stadium for their Nedbank Cup quarterfinal clash and Mokwena has already predicted the Pirates line-up.
The tactician is confident that veteran defenders Happy Jele and Thulani Hlatshwayo will be in the starting line-up and marshalling the defence, along with the likes of Thabang Monare and Ben Motshwari doing the work in central midfield, among other players.
However, speaking to the media this week, Zinnbauer confirmed that he is yet to decide on his line-up to take on the Brazilians while also hinting on possible changes.
“First, we have to see what’s happened, you have (a) player that is available for you as a coach and then you have to find the right players in the moment. It’s not always (the same), all weeks the same for one player. I see the supporters or the journalists ask why this player is not playing but we have a reason, maybe they are not (having a) good performance,” he said.
“It’s possible and not only in our club, but in the whole football world. One player can play 35, 40 or 50 games in a season at the top level and maybe gets a little tired get injured a little bit, or maybe he is mentally also tired. But it’s important as a coach to find the right players in the right positions and maybe then… tactically it’s also very important,” the coach added.
Former Chiefs, Pirates and Sundowns stars in Alton Meiring’s strong PSL XI: