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SA SOCCER NEWS
Rand Stadium set for major showdown on Sunday 17/02/05
The Rand Stadium to promises to buzz on Sunday afternoon as SuperSport United will be looking to break the stronghold the Beautiful Birds hold at their home ground.

"When the two elephants battle, the ground suffers", is the most common saying always referred to tough battles. It will be the same situation when the two in-form teams - Moroka Swallows and Supersport United lock horns at Rand Stadium on Sunday.

Supersport did not have a very good start in their league campaign but they have since found their footing and have joined in the league title challenge.

Though they have more players on the injury list but they have been able to provide quality replacements. Without the injured Abram Raselemane, they still boast of the best strike force in Tico Tico Bucaune, Dale Studzinksi and Lungisani Ndlela and the fact that the Birds are Ndlela`s former team make it even more interesting.

Ndlela started well, scoring in his first two games for United. Tico Tico has found his old self at last and with Swallows likely to concentrate on Ndlela, Bucuane may steal the show. Studzinksi is always very dangerous when he comes off the bench. Mosimane`s charges still boast of being the only team that has beaten log leaders Orlando Pirates and the mere thought of that maybe just be motivation to beat the Dube Birds.

The Birds may have lost the services of the lanky Ndlela, but they boast what is arguably the strongest midfield in the PSL in Maimane Phiri and Goodman 'Dolphin' Mazibuko.

The duo are made of stern stuff. Phiri has loads of experience and is a good distributor and an equally good ball winner. He is a hard tackler who takes no prisoners and together with Mazibuko, he will neutralize the United midfield.

Mazibuko is also in great form and several pleas have been made for Baxter to include the duo in the national team. Cecil Oersen is a man to watch and on his day can single handedly destroy the strongest opposition. Also up front Swallows have the evergreen Dennis Lota and the talented young Zimbabwean, Alois Ngwerume, as well as the recently acquired Daniel Matsau, who of course just made the switch from Matsatsantsa to the Dube Birds.

Like any other player against his former team, Matsau would like to put one against United if he gets his chance. United `s defence was rather shaky the past week-end without Ricardo Katza and if the Birds are serious about flying they have to take advantage of the leaks in United defence.

Pitso Mosimane is a tactician who can easily plot the opposition's downfall, but in Gavin Hunt, Swallows have a mastermind of their own and it promises to be an intriguing battle between the two young coaches, who are likely to have faced one another as players during their times at Jomo Cosmos and Hellenic respectively.

At the Rand Stadium, Swallows have not lost a league game in the past two years, but United are renowned at breaking records, having broken the Kaizer Chiefs unbeaten one last season and have broken the Bucs unbeaten one earlier this season, so this match promises to deliver plenty of fireworks.
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By : Patrick Zikalala

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