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DStv Premiership Review – Winners And Losers By Opta Jabu

Opta Jabu combs through the numbers to bring out the biggest winners and losers from the weekend domestic football action.

Cavin Johnson

Opta Jabu combs through the numbers to bring out the biggest winners and losers from the weekend domestic football action.


Stellenbosch And Marching on – Winner

Stellenbosch’s Nedbank Cup may have brought the spotlight on the club, but to limit their overall success only to decent Cup runs would be an underappreciation of other things they are getting right at the club. One of which is their league form. There is an argument that a team’s strength is better measured by their league position than a miraculous Cup run. But that is a debate for another day, in particular, because Stellies are excelling in both at the moment. They are into their first-ever Cup final and are 3rd on the league table behind Sundowns and Cape Town City, who they can overtake before they (City) kick a ball again. The gulf is made clearer when you also look at the other teams that reach the Carling Cup semi-finals. TS Galaxy, AmaZulu, and Richards Bay are 13th, 14th, and 15th in a 16-team league table.

Stellies may need more quality and depth to mount a title challenge (everyone does), but Steve Barker is making the most of the (mostly) young squad at his disposal. Nine unbeaten games are not their longest run of games without a defeat, but with eight wins in the nine-game run, there is a case to be made this is their most impressive run in five years of top-flight football. When you consider the talent they have consistently lost over the years, it’s incredible that they seem to be improving season after season. It is not outside the realms of possibility for them to finish in a CAF position this season. If form and fitness remain constant, they’re almost halfway there.

23 – 23 points from 14 games is Stellenbosch’s best-ever total at this stage of a top-flight season, and already their best total at the halfway stage.

Stellies Defence – Winner

Sage Stephens has been one of the best goalkeepers in the league in the last month, but he was suspended for this tie. Yet, clean sheets are about more than just individual accolades. In his absence, the back four and Oscarine Masuluke kept it moving.

7 – Stellenbosch has now kept seven clean sheets in the league this season, more than they managed throughout the whole of last season (6)

Orlando Pirates Finding Some Form – Winner

They have not perfected their goalscoring enough to mount a consistent title challenge, but they are scoring enough to keep other teams guessing. As Sundowns have shown signs of fatigue in recent games, there may be some nervous glances at the league table, looking at how far behind Orlando Pirates are. Pirates have kept five consecutive clean sheets in the league for the first time since December 2010 under Ruud Krol. Should they get the goalscoring conundrum figured out, there could be a pulse in the title race.

45 – Orlando Pirates have scored 45 goals in the league this calendar year, only one behind Sundowns.

Cavin Johnson Settling – Winner

Back-to-back wins for the first time for Johnson, and only the second time for Chiefs this season. There is a lot of (often unnecessary) noise surrounding the club, but as long as wins keep coming, most of that will remain just – noise.

Chippa United – Winner

The last two months have not been perfect for Morgan Mamilla and his side, with no wins in six. But when things are not going well, the least you can do is keep things solid at the back. It’s a decent foundation.

7 – Chippa United have kept seven clean sheets already in the league this season (in 14 games), more than they managed throughout all of last season (6 in 30 games).

Royal AM – Winner

Three wins in four games have steered them out of the relegation dogfight. They are still some distance from the top eight, but at least they are heading in the right direction.


SuperSport – Loser

Gavin Hunt is now in his 26th top-flight season, one less than Sir Alex Ferguson enjoyed at Man United and four more than Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. For all his longevity, SuperSport’s current predicament is slowly proving to be one of the most difficult ships to turn around. Competing on multiple fronts (including CAF competition) can be a double-edged sword in terms of managing games played and player fatigue. For that reason, Gavin Hunt will probably gain huge sympathy from within the club. But, there is less understanding on the outside. If they praise you for qualifying for CAF, MTN8, etc the season before, then an added expectation is to succeed on those multiple fronts the following season. Under Gavin Hunt, SuperSport have been knocked out in the first round in four straight domestic Cup competitions since the start of last season. And now, the CAF Confederations Cup is also starting to look like a step too far.

5 – SuperSport United have lost five consecutive games across all competitions for the first time in the PSL era.

Khanyisa Mayo – Loser

A needless red card for one of the season’s most outstanding players means he will miss the top-of-the-table clash against Sundowns just before Christmas. Eric Tinkler has two weeks to prepare for that game, but he will be fuming regarding Mayo’s unavailability for selection.

TS Galaxy away – Loser

0 – TS Galaxy are yet to win an away league game this season (P6 W0 D1 L5). This is a record they share only with Cape Town Spurs (P6 W0 D0 L6).

However, The Rockets are the only team yet to score in the league away from home.

Our Goalscorers – Loser

Pule Mmodi’s goal was the 200th goal scored in the league this season. Coming in the 102nd game, this is the slowest pace to reach the mark since 2017/18 (103 games to reach 200 goals).

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