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PSL Title Race: Remaining Fixtures Analysed

PSL Title Race: Remaining Fixtures Analysed

20 February 2020, by: Leonard Solms

PSL Title Race: Remaining Fixtures Analysed

The final stretch in the PSL title race is just around the corner and we appear to have a four-horse race despite the best efforts of SuperSport United.

Kaizer Chiefs currently lead by four points ahead of Mamelodi Sundowns, while Orlando Pirates and Bidvest Wits remain in the running.

Here, we take a look at each team’s trickiest remaining fixtures and analyse whether or not their squads are strong enough to cope with the last part of the season.

Bear in mind that league fixtures are subject to rescheduling, but all 16 teams in the competition have to play each other home and away before the season draws to a close.

Kaizer Chiefs’ recent wobble in form has come at a far from ideal time, as Orlando Pirates and Bidvest Wits will feature among their next three league opponents. The Glamour Boys at least have the benefit of fresh legs due to a lack of CAF and MTN8 commitments throughout the season to date, but they are now competing in the Nedbank Cup.

Chiefs have not yet played Wits this season, meaning that they still face two potential banana skins against the Clever Boys. In between is the home game against defending champions Sundowns on April 15.

It is safe to say Chiefs have some big games against big teams still to play, so nothing can be taken for granted yet. At least the Amakhosi faithful can proudly proclaim that they have played their best football in this campaign with their backs up against the wall.

Mamelodi Sundowns made a significant statement of intent in the PSL title race with their 2-1 home win over Bloemfontein Celtic. However, a challenging run of fixtures awaits.

Masandawana will be away from home in four of their next five scheduled league fixtures. The home game against Orlando Pirates in the middle of that run will likely not afford them much respite.

Pitso Mosimane’s men also have to visit Kaizer Chiefs, but they will fancy their chances of winning their last three home games against Golden Arrows, Baroka and Black Leopards.

It is worth remembering that Sundowns are still chasing Champions League and Nedbank Cup glory, which may lead to fixture re-arrangements and fatigue. However, they have showcased their strength in depth time and time again in recent years and this season has been no exception.

Josef Zinnbauer’s men still have fixtures scheduled against Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits, but need not despair as they can use these as opportunities to make up lost ground.

Pirates endured a difficult start to the campaign, but they will be boosted by not having any commitments outside the league for the late stages of the campaign.

One game the Buccaneers ought to be wary of is the trip to Cape Town City on 13 April. Pirates have often struggled in Cape Town recently, losing 1-0 to Stellenbosch at Cape Town Stadium in October.

There are reasons for optimism within the Bucs camp after six straight league wins, but they trail league leaders Kaizer Chiefs by six points having played one more game. Their fate is therefore no longer in their own hands.

Playing catch-up in terms of fixtures will not be easy for Wits, but they remain serious contenders for the title despite all setbacks.

After a winnable home Nedbank Cup game against Chippa United, the Clever Boys will visit bogey team SuperSport United. Matsatsantsa have already beaten them twice this season on their own turf.

Apart from two fixtures against Kaizer Chiefs and one against Orlando Pirates, Wits also face tricky visits to Maritzburg United and Bloemfontein Celtic.

At 11 points behind Chiefs with two games in hand, Gavin Hunt’s charges have no choice but to keep pace with the pack by winning their key games.

There may be stumbling blocks away, but the fixture list suggests Chiefs are the most likely title winners given that they hold a four-point lead over Sundowns with 10 games to spare.

They are far from the only top team with difficult games ahead. It is vital that Chiefs win their remaining big fixtures and carefully manage the minutes of players such as Khama Billiat and Itumeleng Khune, who could be at risk of aggravating injuries.


Leonard Solms is a sports journalist who features regularly on various local and international platforms including ESPN, New Frame, FARPost, Tagged Online and Careers Magazine, as well as this one. He enjoys the occasional bet and the most important tip he can give you is to bet within your means.

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