Mamelodi Sundowns won the Telkom Knockout final on Saturday, bringing to an end a 1169-day wait for a domestic knockout trophy.
It was their third victory of the tournament, adding onto the Rothmans Cup won in 1999 and the Telkom Knockout from 2015.
Having celebrated seven years at the club a few weeks ago, Pitso Mosimane now celebrated his 7th domestic title since joining Sundowns as head coach in December 2012.
Victory in the Cup final was sweet, and most likely well celebrated over the long weekend, but alongside the plaudits, the games are also piling on for Sundowns.
Tonight, at Moses Mabhida Stadium, will be their fourth match in eleven days, following the victory over Stellenbosch that was sandwiched between a trip to Morocco and the Telkom Cup victory.
They still have two more games before the end of the year, ensuring a 57th match for Pitso’s men in 2019.
55 – Tonight’s clash vs Wits will be Sundowns’s 55th competitive match of the year, the highest number of games they have played in a single calendar year under Pitso Mosimane, exceeding the 54 played in their 2016 Champions League winning year.
26 - Sundowns #AbsaPrem clash with Wits tonight will be their 26th competitive match this season. No other top-flight side has played more than 20.
Rotating players and goals
With so many matches to play, rotation is key for Sundowns and Wits, who are both involved in continental competition as well. For Sundowns, any hopes of maintaining a sustained challenge against runaway leaders
Kaizer Chiefs will rest of managing their squad well. Yet, rotating a squad can bring fears of loss of cohesion in a team and goals drying up, especially when a coach has to trust young players.
However the likes of Sphelele Mkhulise and Keletso Makgalwa have recently shown what young players are capable of when given a chance to shine. They both scored in the victory over Stellies, giving further evidence for the case that goals can from anywhere in this Sundowns side.
STATS: Sundowns v Wits
13 – There have been 13 different goalscorers that have contributed to Sundowns’s 17 league goals this season (excluding own-goals), more than any other PSL side. Throughout last season, goal contributions came from 14
25 – Pitso Mosimane has already used 25 players in the 12 league games this season, just one more than Gavin Hunt at Wits (24).
Dominance over Wits
Sundowns have also had the better of Wits in the last few years. Since Pitso Mosimane joined Downs in December 2012, the sides have met 14 times in the league. They have won 7 of those games (50%) , including six clean sheets, while Wits have only won three times. Going further back to the start of the PSL, we also see
how Sundowns have enjoyed playing against Wits.
24 – Since the PSL established in 1996/97, Wits have lost 24 times to Sundowns. Against no other PSL team have they lost on more occasions in the league.
24 – On the other hand, Sundowns have beaten Wits 24 times since the PSL was established in 1996/97. Against no other PSL team have they enjoyed more victories (24 also vs Celtic).
FUN STAT: Sundowns Festive in the Festive Season
49 – Sundowns have won 49 league games played in December in the PSL. A win against Wits tonight will be their 50th win in that month, just four behind their top winning month February (54)
56% – Sundowns have a 56% win rate for matches played in December (P87 W49), their second highest win rate of all months of the year (58% in February).
By Opta Jabu