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Five reasons why SuperSport United will be crowned Confed Cup champions

SuperSport United will have it all to do in the CAF Confederation Cup final, but Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns have shown them how to bring an African club trophy back to South Africa. BackpagePix

South African side SuperSport United go into Saturday's second leg of the CAF Confederation Cup final trailing Congolese giants Tout Puissant Mazembe 2-1, but there are a number of reasons why they can be confident of overturning that and lifting the trophy.

In this feature, KweséESPN looks at five talking points that edge the tie in the favour of SuperSport despite them trailing at the halfway point.

The quality of their squad

Starting with the basics, they have a squad that is more than capable of not just beating Mazembe, but given them a good hiding.

They should have won the away leg in Lubumbashi last weekend having created numerous opportunities, but some poor finishing and bad luck meant they did not convert.

Away from the tricky plastic surface and back to grass, you get the feeling this will be much more to their liking, and the fact that it is a night game will suit them too.

Goalkeeper Ronwen Williams had a shocker in the first leg that contributed to their defeat, but it is hard to see him having two such poor outings in a row, he is better than that.

Added to that, Matsatsantsa will have key midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane back from suspension after he missed the first leg. He has experience and the kind of grit that the side will need. Man-for-man, SuperSport look to have the edge.

Home teams traditionally triumph in the second leg

It has been the norm down the years for the side who play the second leg at home to lift the Confederation Cup trophy, no matter what the first leg score, as only four times in the previous 14 years has the team who started at home been crowned champions. In fact, only twice before has the team that led from the first leg gone on to hold that advantage, around 14 percent of the time.

Sfaxien lost 2-1 at TP Mazembe in 2013 in the second leg, but still lifted the trophy 3-2 on aggregate.

That is also one of only two times that the side winning the first leg has been crowned champions, with the other a 4-2 away win for Sfaxien at Sudanese side Al Merreikh that was followed by a 1-0 home success.

TP Mazembe are not the best travellers

Mazembe have a fortress in their Lubumbashi home, but outside of the country do not carry the same dominance.

They are unbeaten in their six away games this season, but that includes only two wins and just four goals scored.

Not that they need a win on Saturday of course, a draw will do them just fine, but they are certainly not the force of just a few years ago even.

In their last 22 Confederation Cup games on the road over the last decade, they have managed only six wins.

Tinkler is a wily tactician

SuperSport coach Eric Tinkler made the point that he would rather have left Lubumbashi with a 2-1 loss than a 0-0 draw, knowing just how crucial the away goal from Sipho Mbule could be for his side.

He has been here before of course, losing the 2015 final with Orlando Pirates, but on that occasion had to travel away from the second leg.

It is altogether a different story now and he will have a plan to get the better of Mazembe, knowing that his side have been largely dominant at home in the competition this season.

They are unbeaten in eight games, have scored 18 goals and conceded only five.

Tinkler also has a knack of winning tough cup finals of late, leading Cape Town City to an unexpected success over SuperSport in the Telkom Knockout decider last season, before switching clubs and seeing SuperSport come from behind to beat former side City in the MTN8 final last month.

A shot at history

Never dismiss the mental side of the game and while Mazembe quite clearly are determined to lift the trophy this year, for SuperSport it would be a first ever triumph in Africa and would perhaps mean that little bit more to them.

Mazembe have been in a lot of continental finals since 2009, but for SuperSport this is so far a unique occasion, something the players have been relishing.

Will that give them the extra 10 percent they need in the second leg to grab the win?

Coupled with their quality, home ground advantage, greater experience in the coaching dugout, this could be the factor that tips the result in their favour.