African Soccer 17.8.2018 10:00 am

Casablanca cauldron no sweat for Sundowns

Kennedy Mweene, Hlompho Kekana,Wayne Arendse 
 and Tiyani Mabunda  celebrate a goal. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Kennedy Mweene, Hlompho Kekana,Wayne Arendse and Tiyani Mabunda celebrate a goal. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Wayne Arendse expects an intimidating atmosphere tonight in Morocco, as Mamelodi Sundowns take on Wydad Casablanca in a key Caf Champions League Group C clash (9pm SA time).

Sundowns trail leaders Wydad by three points in the group, and a win will put Pitso Mosimane’s men on the brink of a last-eight spot.

It will be far from easy, however, especially as Sundowns are playing at Wydad’s regular home venue, the Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca. Last year, Sundowns played Wydad in the Caf Champions League quarterfinals in Rabat, and still lost 1-0, ultimately going out of the competition on penalties. Wydad went on to lift the trophy.

“The last time we didn’t play in Casablanca. This time it will be a bit different because we will be in front of their home fans because we are playing in their city and the stadium will be packed. We are looking forward to an interesting game,” said defender Arendse.

READ: Arendse urges Sundowns to stick their brand of football

It was a long trip to Morocco, with Pitso Mosimane even joking about buying board games for his players while they were in transit. Sundowns flew out on Monday, eventually arriving in Casablanca the following day.

“That is the challenge because there are no direct flights but that is how it is. The bigger challenge is the return because we have to play Black Leopards in the league within two days,” said Mosimane.

Arendse says he and his team-mates have become accustomed to the long trips into Africa as they are in the Champions League group stages for the third time in a row.

Sundowns, of course, won the trophy back in 2016.

“The trip was a bit long but we are used to it because we knew what we were getting into and how we were going to travel. It has become the norm for us and we adjusted,” Arendse said.

READ: Onyango could be ready to face Wydad

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