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Mamelodi SundownsMamelodi Sundowns
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Khama Billiat
Khama Billiat

Mamelodi Sundowns will once again be without talisman Khama Billiat for their African Champions League clash with Esperance on Wednesday, but coach Pitso Mosimane has warned his side against getting too "emotional" in what is being billed by the club's own website as a grudge match.

Esperance grabbed a last-minute winner in a 2-1 victory in Pretoria a fortnight ago, inflicting a first ever home defeat in the Champions League on Sundowns.

It has placed the holders' qualification for the quarterfinals in doubt with just a single win in their three pool matches, and this trip to Tunisia to be followed by another difficult away day in Ethiopia against St George.

"You mustn't be emotional about what is in front of you, you must look at the bigger picture," Mosimane said in Tunis. "And the bigger picture is for us to try and qualify for the last eight and hopefully when we do that, we will get all our [injured] players back.

"It's not about being emotional against Esperance, because if you do that you lose focus on the bigger plot. And the bigger plot is the whole group and to keep going and make sure we are going to the quarterfinals."

There is better injury news for Sundowns with the return of inspirational captain Hlompho Kekana and experienced Liberian forward Anthony Laffor.

Defenders Wayne Arendse and Motjeka Madisha are also back full training.

"We are here to win. We have to win to get to the summit of our log. We are not here to draw," Laffor told his club's website.

"I watched our game against them in Atteridgeville. They are technically well structured, but we are confident that we can break through. This was clear from the number of chances we had, so we hope that on Wednesday we will use the opportunities.

"I am happy to be back and fit. I am ready to play. I have achieved a great deal with Sundowns, but there is still much to achieve. I am still not satisfied with my achievements so far."


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