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Absa Premiership Bio-Bubble XI

While Ricardo Goss has been the talk of the town in the bio-bubble, we’ve picked out 10 other players to create a team of the best performers since the return of football in Mzansi.

Absa Premiership Bio-Bubble XI

In these unprecedented times, football in South Africa is all we’ve longed for. When it came, though, the joy and emotion that followed weren’t enough to overshadow the lacklustre quality from most of the sides in the Absa Premiership.

It hasn’t been all doom and gloom, though, with many clubs taking full advantage of the slump of others, while in the process, some of the players have taken the second opportunity in the season to prove their worth. While Ricardo Goss has been the talk of the town in the bio-bubble, we’ve picked out 10 other players to create a team of the best performers since the return of football in Mzansi.

Goalkeeper – Ricardo Goss

As mentioned already, Goss has been one of many standout players in the Bidvest Wits team since the resumption of the league. The 26-year-old shot-stopper has won many points for Gavin Hunt’s side in the bio-bubble, and some would argue that had he played against Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup, Wits might still be in the competition. In seven games, Goss has kept four clean sheets, conceding just three times.

Defender – Zitha Macheke

There hasn’t been many standout right-backs in the division since the beginning of August, but Bidvest Wits’ Zitha Macheke tops the list in that position. The 26-year-old is a very old-fashioned orthodox full-back who tends to focus more on his primary duties of defending rather than spending time overlapping the winger to whip in crosses from the right flank. Like Goss, Macheke has contributed to four clean sheets in seven Absa Premiership encounters.

Defender – Taariq Fielies

With many low-scoring encounters so far in the Absa Premiership, a number of central defenders have stood out as key men for their respective sides. Despite the large showcase of defensive talent, if we’re talking bio-bubble, we have to mention Taariq Fielies. Alongside Abbubaker Mobara, Cape Town City have looked rock-solid at the back. Fielies was also named Man of the Match in City’s crucial 1-0 win over Orlando Pirates, where the Cape-based side had to defend for most of the game with 10 men.

Defender – Alan Robertson

Another name on the lips of many football lovers in the Absa Premiership has been Stellenbosch’s, Alan Robertson. He’s started every game for Stellies in the bio-bubble and has helped the club maintain a solid unbeaten run since the league returned, famously beating Cape Town City and holding Kaizer Chiefs to a draw. In their four games played, Stellenbosch have conceded just twice, keeping two clean sheets.

Defender – Sifiso Ngobeni

Bloemfontein Celtic have certainly been one of the most entertaining teams to watch in the bio-bubble, scoring 10 goals – more than any other team – including three in their 3-0 Nedbank Cup win over Baroka FC. And unlike many other teams in the Absa Premiership, Celtic have got a naturally gifted modern-day full-back in Sifiso Ngobeni. The 23-year-old, who picked up the Man of the Match accolade in the club’s 3-1 win over Kaizer Chiefs, has been impeccable on that left flank, missing just one match, which came against Bidvest Wits. His superb displays in the green and white jersey of Celtic certainly didn’t go unnoticed and after head coach, John Maduka, explored the option of using him as a winger against Polokwane City last time out, Ngobeni has already shown that he has the quality and maturity to adapt in more than one position.

Midfielder – Cole Alexander

In the midfield area, few, if any players have had a better spell in the bio-bubble than Cole Alexander. The Bidvest Wits veteran seems to have rolled back the years, pulling off two stunning Man of the Match games. With Wits just a few days away from extinction, it’s baffling how Alexander hasn’t got a club yet. Perhaps it’s the just the professionalism in him that just wants to focus on the remaining two games with the Clever Boys before making his mind up, especially since it’s still mathematically possible for Wits to bow out in style and win the league title.

Midfielder – Lantshene Phalane

Like I’ve mentioned before, Bloemfontein Celtic guarantee excitement with their expansive brand of football. In the centre of their explosive way of playing is Lantshene Phalane. He’s quite his age at 30 now, but Phalane has shown that he’s more than capable of playing every few days. Barakat, as he is also known by, reads the game to perfection, distributes the ball calmly and with precision, and has one of the most educated left feet in the Absa Premiership at the moment. He’s also contributed immensely to Siwelele’s unbeaten run since the resumption.

Midfielder – Mduduzi Mdantsane

Cape Town City’s Mduduzi Mdantsane has also been a stellar figure in that three-man midfield for Jan Olde Riekerink’s side. In terms of consistency, the former Baroka captain is arguably unmatched in that regard. Whether it be in a deeper position, or more advanced, Mdantsane always produces exceptional performances. His style of play complements the way City want to go about their business in midfield, while it also allows the likes of Thabo Nodada and Shane Roberts the freedom to take risks and venture further up the pitch.

Forward – Ghampani Lungu

Out wide, many players have stood out, but few like Ghampani Lungu. The SuperSport United youngster and has taken his opportunity in the bio-bubble with two hands, netting twice in as many games against Limpopo sides, Polokwane City and Black Leopards. The 21-year-old Zambian winger brings more than just goals to his name and is a deadly threat who can operate on either flank.

Forward – Kermit Erasmus

In terms of number nines in the Absa Premiership, none have had a better spell in Gauteng’s bio-bubble that Kermit Erasmus. The Cape Town City attacker has netted three times post-lockdown, including against Mamelodi Sundowns and his former side, Orlando Pirates, so “Romeo” knows all about big-game temperament as well. It seems like City will solidify their spot in the top eight and its mostly thanks to Erasmus, who has taken his total tally to 12 goals for the campaign in just 23 league appearances.

Forward – Bradley Ralani

It definitely shouldn’t be a surprise to see Bradley Ralani’s name on the list. The pacey winger, who turns 33 next month, has been a revelation in the Cape Town City attack since making the move back home from abroad, forming a formidable front trio, alongside Erasmus and Fagrie Lakay. In the league, no team has scored more than City since the restart with Ralani popping up with two to his name, which came against Sundowns, where the trickster also scooped the Man of the Match award. Most recently, he bagged an assist in Cape Town City’s 4-1 demolition over Golden Arrows as well. Ralani is certainly a fan favourite at the club, while the neutrals seem to have a soft spot for him too.

The team in full:

Goss, Macheke, Fielies, Robertson, Ngobeni, Alexander, Phalane, Mdantsane, Lungu, Erasmus, Ralani

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