SuperSport United out to impress

SuperSport United and TP Mazembe will clash in the first leg of the 2017 CAF Confederations Cup final at the Stade TP Mazembe in Lubumbashi on Sunday afternoon.

Kick-off is at 3:30pm.

Having played to two successive stalemates in the group stages [2-2 in Lubumbashi and 0-0 in Atteridgeville] of this year's competition, the clubs will renew their rivalry with the aggregate victor over two legs to be crowned champions.

TP Mazembe, who are the title holders following their triumph in the competition 12 months ago, booked their place in a second successive final following a 1-0 aggregate win over FUS Rabat.

Ben Malango's solitary goal enough to reserve Mazembe's place in the showpiece event.

SuperSport sealed their sport in a first CAFCC final following a 4-2 aggregate win over Tunisian outfit Club Africain. Held to a 1-1 draw in South Africa, Matsatsantsa turned on the style in Rades with goals from Bradley Grobler (x2) and Jeremy Brockie leading the club to a memorable win.

Brockie, top scorer in the year's competition with 10 goals, will only arrive back in South Africa on Friday morning with the striker set to hop off his connecting flight from Lima, Peru and straight onto a plane to the Democratic Republic of Congo with his SuperSport teammates.

The New Zealand international having played his part in the All Whites 2018 Fifa World Cup play-off defeat in Peru. SuperSport head coach Eric Tinkler is hopeful that Brockie will recover in time for Sunday's clash, but will only assess the striker upon arrival in Lubumbashi.

Furthermore, Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Ronwen Williams could also miss the clash as he reportedly suffered a knock while on national duty.

TP Mazembe have their own injury concerns with towering centre back Salif Coulibaly a doubt due to injury, while under fire goal-minder Sylvain Gbohouo will be out to prove a point.

Gbohouo asked for forgiveness following the Ivory Coast's failure to reach next year's World Cup in Russia following a 2-0 defeat to Morocco in Abidjan. The goalkeeper came under siege in aftermath of his display in goal for the Elephants.

Moreover, Tinkler has highlighted the importance of an away goal for SuperSport knowing that if they find the back of the net in Lubumbashi it will stand them in good stead going into the second leg fixture.

“An away goal is a priority for us‚ otherwise it means nothing‚" Tinkler said.

"For me‚ you need to try and take advantage by going there and scoring irrespective of whether it is 1-1‚ a 2-1 loss or even better‚ we have won 2-1.

He continued: "But 0-0 would not be the greatest score for us because it puts you on the back foot. If it is 0-0 and they come here and score one‚ then you must score two.

"We need to go out there and score because we can’t afford to go there and not score.”

Tinkler, who guided Orlando Pirates to the final two years ago, has underlined the positive impact CAFCC success will have on SuperSport, while also stating the fact that Mazembe will be more wary of their opponents this time around...

“It will be massive [to win the CAFCC]‚ we will put the name of the club on the continent which is what I don’t think is the case at the moment," the former Bafana Bafana international added.

"I don’t think that Mazembe took SuperSport seriously when we played them in the earlier round. I promise you now that they know who SuperSport is.

“On a personal level‚ this is something that I would like to have on my CV. My objective as a coach is not only to win things in South Africa but also on the continent," he concluded.

In preparation for the first leg, SuperSport held a three-day camp in Rusternburg where they trained on an artificial turf. They will encounter a similar surface in the DRC.

Algerian match official Mehdi Abid Charef will take charge of the clash in Lubumbashi.

The reverse fixture is set to take place at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Saturday, 25 November. Kick-off is scheduled for 20h15 CAT.