Mi­lano favourites, but wary of Thanda ‘ba­nana peel’ slip

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - MIKE DE BRUYN

LEAGUE LEAD­ERS Mi­lano United take on bot­tom-placed Thanda Royal Zulu in a Na­tional First Di­vi­sion match at Athlone Sta­dium to­day, while the derby be­tween FC Cape Town and Vasco da Gama will be played at Parow Park.

Un­beaten Mi­lano should have lit­tle dif­fi­culty in mak­ing it eight wins from 10 starts as their Richards Bay-based op­po­nents are cur­rently en­dur­ing a shock­ing cam­paign.

It would take an un­der-par per­for­mance from the Cape side to al­low Thanda a look-in. Mi­lano will no doubt be up­set if they don’t seal the three points on of­fer.

Thanda’s young and in­ex­pe­ri­enced squad have found the go­ing tough this sea­son, win­ning just once from nine games, leav­ing them at the foot of the ta­ble.

With their big-name play­ers from pre­vi­ous cam­paigns hav­ing moved on and with coach Pro­fes­sor Mlungisi Ngubane re­placed by his as­sis­tant, Ron­nie Moroka, chances of the KwaZulu-Natal raiders com­ing away from Cape Town with a favourable re­sult ap­pear slim at best.

How­ever, Mi­lano coach Theo Hempe, isn’t tak­ing the threat posed by the visi­tors lightly.

“Any team that feels it is su­pe­rior to the other of­ten comes off sec­ond best. We are one of those sides that does not take any team lightly.

“For sure, we are go­ing to come into this game with the in­ten­tion of win­ning.

“The form so far from the play­ers and squad mem­bers has been good. We are un­beaten through nine rounds, but that doesn’t mean we are un­beat­able.

“Far from it, for sure, but the play­ers feel good about things and want to keep on mov­ing for­wards, im­prov­ing ev­ery time they play and want­ing to play as a team rather than as in­di­vid­u­als – and to keep our loyal fans happy by play­ing the best we can ev­ery time for them,” he said.

It is sure to be all smiles for the home faith­ful.

Mean­while, the Town-Vasco clash is sure to be a close af­fair be­tween two sides who share the same venue (Parow Park) for home matches.

The odds will be in favour of sev­enth- placed Vasco tak­ing the win, but with in­con­sis­tent form blunt­ing their chal­lenge to date, they could be in for a rude sur­prise.

Town, who won for the first time against hosts Black­burn Rovers (1-0) last time out, will be dead keen to make it a sec­ond three-pointer in a row and ease their rel­e­ga­tion con­cerns.

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