- Andile Jali looks set to miss the opening match of the PSL season on Saturday
- The Bafana Bafana star is reportedly struggling to recover from a hamstring injury
- Jali was unavailable for last Friday’s CAF Champions League match against AS Port Togo
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Andile Jali looks set to miss the opening match of the new Premier Soccer League (PSL) season which starts on Saturday. Jali is reportedly struggling to recover from a hamstring injury and coach Pitso Mosimane will likely not risk further damage to his star signing.
Jali was unavailable for last Friday nights CAF Champions League return clash against AS Port Togo which took place in Pretoria. Jali made his debut for Mamelodi Sundowns against the same opposition in the first leg of the clash against the same side some two-weeks ago.
Mamelodi Sundowns will host Kaizer Chiefs at Loftus Versfeld in what could and should be a clash of giants in the opening match of the 2018/19 PSL season on Saturday. The defending champion will be looking to get their season off to a winning start.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Mosimane has enough depth in his squad to not risk playing Jali if he is not 100% fit. Mosimane has over the years become known for having backup plans for his backup plans.
Kickoff.co.za reported that Mosimane will likely pair Kekana and Manyisa in the midfield after both players performed well in the match against Port Togo on Friday.
Jali was hoping to make his debut for Sundowns in the PSL on Saturday and make a return to the South African league after spending four successful years in Europe.
Jali made a high-profile return to South Africa earlier this year and made his intentions of playing in the PSL and CAF Champions League very clear.
His club of choice was the source of speculation and rumours for months and he was seen as the most sought after signing ahead of the new season. Jali's move to Sundows came as a bit of a surprise to most experts who felt he would sign with his former club Orlando Pirates or join the glamorous Kaizer Chiefs.
The Bafana Bafana star was rumoured to favour a move to Kaizer Chiefs early on in the negotiations but the club’s failure to appoint a coach and crucially not being eligible for the continental tournament ultimately convinced Jali to sign for the reigning PSL champions.
Jali’s long-term deal raised eyebrows among soccer pundits who expected the player to be in favour of a shorter term deal which would have kept his options open.
Sundowns will go into Saturday’s clash as heavy favourites having already beaten Kaizer Chiefs in their pre-season clash. The Amakhosi have had a less than perfect pre-season and their new head coach Giovanni Solinas has only just received his work permit, which will have impacted his preparations for the start of the season.
Still, in the PSL anything can and usually does happen.
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