The former African champions will be looking to transfer their domestic form into their continental campaign
Arriving in Botswana against a backdrop of five Premier Soccer League wins and three draws, Downs will be looking to add a positive result on the continent to that domestic form.
They face a Galaxy side that have a contrasting profile to theirs and will be keen to avoid an upset.
While Sundowns are celebrating 50 years of existence and having established themselves as continental heavyweights, Galaxy were founded in 2005 following a merger between Jwaneng Comets and Debswana Youngsters and are new to the Champions League.
|Game||Jwaneng Galaxy vs Mamelodi Sundowns|
|Date||Tuesday, December 22|
|Time||15:30 SA Time|
TV Channel, Live Score & How To Watch
The game will be shown live on SuperSport TV
|Online Streaming||TV Channel|
Squads & Team News
Themba Zwane is Sundowns’ man of the moment so far this season after managing seven PSL goals in as many league matches.
After the attacker was rested for Downs’ last league match away at Golden Arrows, he is expected to be back for the Galaxy assignment together with Kermit Erasmus, who has not featured in Masandawana’s last two games.
The Botswana champions could be in for a torrid afternoon if Zwane combines with Erasmus and Peter Shalulile to complete an attacking partnership that has terrorised PSL defences.
In the Arrows game, Sundowns’ coaches also rested other key players like captain Hlompho Kekana and Rivaldo Coetzee, who could also be given a run on Tuesday.
Jwaneng Galaxy will be welcoming back Botswana international goalkeeper Ezekiel Morake who rejoined the club on a two-year deal from PSL side TS Galaxy.
It is a big boost for the Jwaneng-based outfit, who have also confirmed that attacker Gift Moyo and defender Lesego Keeredilwe are available for selection after recovering from injuries.
Midfielder Gape Mohutsiwa has also been certified fit to play.
Jwaneng Galaxy and Sundowns have never met before.
Since football was suspended in Botswana in March owing to the coronavirus pandemic, Galaxy’s only taste of competitive action since then was the recent Champions League preliminary round victory over Zilimadjou from the Comoros.
A 5-1 aggregate victory was recorded by the Botswana champions from the two-legged stage saw them win 4-0 at home, before forcing a 1-1 away draw.
Coach Sikalame ‘Six’ Keatlholetswe will be hoping that those two games were enough to gear up his side for the Downs challenge.
Sundowns players, meanwhile, arrive at Lobatse Stadium with a lot of game time under their belts after playing nine games in all competitions so far this season and have been in fine form.
The winner of this round will proceed to the Champions League group stage.
For a team that is making their maiden appearance in the Champions League, it would be a massive achievement if Galaxy beat Downs and reach the tournament’s next round.