PSL Restart – Big Match Preview and Predictions
By Carl Lewis
Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates will meet for a heavyweight clash on Tuesday 11 August, the mouth-watering opener kickstarts a festival of football in South Africa following a pandemic-enforced break which will see almost daily fixtures in the Absa Premiership. Thereafter, fans are treated to another big clash with league-leading Kaizer Chiefs facing Bidvest Wits.
Tuesday 11 August
18:00 – Mamelodi Sundowns v Orlando Pirates
A blockbuster fixture opens the PSL restart this evening as title-chasing Mamelodi Sundowns take on Orlando Pirates in the first match inside the Absa Premiership bubble. The league resumes with Sundowns in second place breathing down Kaizer Chief’s neck with just four points separating them. The Buccaneers are trailing Sundowns by four points in fourth-spot.
This will be Pirates first competitive match back so head coach Josef Zinnbauer’s biggest concern is conditioning and match fitness. Sundowns at least got a good workout against Bidvest Wits in the Nedbank Cup winning 3-2 on Saturday. Masandawana are also on a four-match unbeaten run in the league which will make Chiefs nervous.
The Buccaneers have an opportunity to complete a rare league double over their rivals. When the teams met earlier this season, at Orlando Stadium in January 2020, Pirates claimed a 1-0 home win thanks to a goal from Gabadinho Mhango. The teams’ last three league meetings have produced just that one goal. however, the match fitness of Sundowns will prove to be the difference in this match which they should win.
Best Bet: Mamelodi Sundowns win
Wednesday 12 August
18:00 – Kaizer Chiefs v Bidvest Wits
Kaizer Chiefs were in pole position before the enforced break and it might come at the right time for them. Amakhosi lost two of their last three matches in the league as it seemed fatigued set into camp. With adequate time to prepare for their restart opener Bidvest Wits, Chiefs could make a statement against an unsettled Clever Boys unit.
Wits are dealing with a lot of uncertainty ahead of their restart specifically regarding the sale of the club to TTM with senior players alleged to be dissatisfied with the process and lack of transparency. One thing that does count in Gavin Hunts’ favour is the fact that Wits have some match practice after losing valiantly to Sundowns 3-2 over the weekend. With the stakes so high, you would expect Chief’s edge this match considering a league title is at stake.
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals