Preview - Sundowns v AmaZulu
As reigning champions, Mamelodi Sundowns would have returned to work on Thursday - following their first loss of the New Year against Jomo Cosmos on Wednesday - knowing that a shot at redemption is just on the horizon.
Cosmos might have battered the pride of 'The Brazilians' on Wednesday, but Patrice Motsepe's high-earning, yet underperforming, players know that victory in Saturday's Castle Premiership match against relegation-threatened AmaZulu at Super Stadium (kick-off 3.45pm) will put some warmth back in the hearts of even their most angry fans.
Without doubt, the super-rich Sundowns are feeling a little blue after yet another inept display this season, and with the omnipotent Motsepe wanting nothing else but success, coach Gordon Igesund will be feeling the pinch, knowing that a win is all that will be accepted at Chloorkop.
After 14 matches, the star-studded outfit are placed fifth in the Castle Premiership standings on 23 points, six points adrift of log leaders Silver Stars, who have played a game more, while 'Usuthu' are second from the bottom on 13 points after 16 matches.
Two successive unconvincing results for a side that is supposedly the most fearsome in the country could begin to raise the alarm-bells at Chloorkop, but in the face of adversity that has beset Sundowns, skipper Michael Manzini remains confident of an about-turn.
"The last-minute loss (against Cosmos) was a bad way to start the New Year but there is no need to press the panic buttons," said Manzini.
He added: "We only need to regain our confidence. Other protagonists are not playing good either and only Stars are the only feared team so far. Our supporters were furious and I am adamant that we will beat AmaZulu to challenge for the honours."
Despite registering their third win of the season, troubled-AmaZulu's agonising trudge towards relegation is far from over.
A loss against Sundowns will dent their chances of avoiding the drop, but Wednesday's hero Dumisani Ngwenya, who scored the winner against a rampaging Ajax Cape Town, remains positive that his team will not be relegated at the end of the season.
"We respect Sundowns. They are a great team with classy players and you cannot compare them with us. We are adjusting well to coach Ted Dumitru's instructions and I fancy our chances against them," said Ngwenya.
Mamelodi Sundowns - Michael Manzini
After their slip-up against Cosmos in midweek, Manzini will hope to inspire Sundowns and bring them back into the kind of form that brought them the Castle Premiership title last season.
AmaZulu - Dumisani Ngwenya
Ngwenya scored a winner for AmaZulu in midweek action and will hope to prove just as effective against Sundowns on Saturday afternoon at the Super Stadium in Atteridgeville.
Match preview by Patrick Baloyi/Backpagepix