Highlands one of the trickiest sides to play: Tembo

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SuperSport United will welcome Highlands Park to the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Friday evening in a crucial penultimate league clash before the mid-season break.

In “The Lions of the North”, Matsatsantsa find a side keen to avenge their narrow MTN8 defeat they suffered to them nearly two months ago.

United head into the game unbeaten in their last four games with two wins and two draws, their last result a 1-1 stalemate against Stellebosch FC.

Highlands, on the other hand, are winless in their last five encounters with three losses and two draws, one of those a 0-0 result coming in their last outing to Cape Town City, but Matsatsantsa head coach Kaitano Tembo concedes they are one of the trickiest sides to play against.

Level on 21 points with neighbours Mamelodi Sundowns just by a slender goal difference and a game more, Matsatsantsa sit second on the log standings ten points behind log leaders Kaizer Chiefs.

With Sundowns away in Morocco on a CAF Champions league assignment, United are plugged to be the main contenders to narrow the gap the high-flying Amakhosi have generated.

However, Tembo cautions against that, insisting they are miles away from matching Chiefs’ consistency and winning formula.

Staying true to United’s reputation of unleashing younger players season in and out, Tembo has presented an opportunity to 21-year-old Sipho Mbule and the youngster hasn’t set a foot wrong.

Featuring in all of United’s 13 league games so far this season, Mbule, who has netted thrice in the league and once in the cup competition has already been earmarked by many as a front-runner for the PSL Young Player of the Season award.

Tembo says it’s too early to place such unnecessary pressure on his Bethlehem-born gem.

With five wins, six draws and two losses after 13 games, Tembo credits his senior players for keeping the younger bulk of the squad on track and in line with the team culture.

Highlands Park go into the game in sixth spot with 17 points amassed from 13 games after four wins, five draws and four losses.

– Report by Tumi Gabonamong