SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns will renew their rivalry on Tuesday night when they clash at Lucas Moripe Stadium in a league match.
The last 10 league matches between SuperSport United
and Mamelodi Sundowns have produced 21 goals at an average of just over two per match.
“I think it is because there is less scrutiny and maybe the players feel it can be a positive motivation. When I was at [Kaizer] Chiefs‚ you felt you had to calm down the players ahead of the Soweto Derby; their nerves were bursting. You wanted to calm them down‚” said Baxter‚ who was with Chiefs from 2012 to 2015.
“Sometimes in the Soweto Derby you get the feeling that no one wants to lose and there is a big difference if you play in that mindset‚” he said.
Speaking of goals in the Tshwane Derby‚ Baxter is well aware that his defence is one of the worst in the league having conceded 28 goals and said they will have to be at their best against the free-scoring Sundowns.
The Brazilians have scored the most goals in the league with 39 in 21 league games and Baxter has admitted that he is concerned over his defence.
“What we know is if you don’t defend well against Sundowns‚ then they will punish you but I don’t want the defending to mean our offensive play suffers. That’s the challenge that I’ve got. I think we need to open up enough to give them problems‚ but we need to defend strongly enough to make sure that we don’t leak goals‚” he added.
On the opposite side‚ Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane said he expects end-to-end play that‚ hopefully‚ can produce goals.
“One thing for sure about the Tshwane Derby is it always has goals and I hope it stays that way. It is never a 0-0. If it is a draw I hope it is 2-2 or 3-3 and it is beautiful… I’m expecting fireworks‚” Mosimane said.
“Jingles” added that Sundowns must watch out for one of their defenders Mario Booysen‚ who is on loan at SuperSport United for until the end of the season.
“Mario would like to play against us. He is strong on set
pieces and you saw he contributed to their goal from a throw-in that Jeremy Brockie scored. So Mario is important and he wants to prove to us that he should be part of our team‚ but we preferred to loan him out.
So we must look after the set pieces‚” Mosimane concluded.
Sundowns currently top the standings with 49 points from 21 games‚ while SuperSport are placed 10th with 27 points from the same number of matches.
When the two sides met in January in a league clash‚ Sundowns won 2-0 with Hlompho Kekana and Leonardo Castro on the score sheet.