Our writer takes a closer look at the mammoth PSL clash between Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns.
The ABSA Premiership returns this weekend with a blockbuster of a tie at the FNB Stadium. Kaizer Chiefs will host Mamelodi Sundowns in what should be a key match in the title race. Amakhosi are enjoying a run of 10 games without defeat across all competitions.
Meanwhile, the Brazilians have lost just one of their last 13 games in all competitions – that defeat coming against fellow title rivals, Cape Town City. Masandawana are undefeated in four matches against Chiefs, including their 2-1 win over Steve Komphela’s side in November, last year. In the PSL, both teams find themselves winless in three matches, so it’s time for at least one of these South African giants to return to winning ways.
ABSA Premiership | Saturday 1 April | FNB Stadium | 20:15
To Win (90 Mins)
Kaizer Chiefs 14/10 | Draw 21/10 | Sundowns 19/10
Kaizer Chiefs will be looking to climb up the table after the international break when they host the champions of Africa this weekend. Recent meetings haven’t gone in Amakhosi’s favour, with the Naturena-based side winning just one of their last seven matches against Sundowns.
As mentioned before, Chiefs are unbeaten in 10 matches across all competitions. However, the Amakhosi faithful will be disappointed with their last result. Steve Komphela’s side let their 2-1 lead slip in Polokwane to draw 2-2 against NFD-bound, Baroka FC.
Kaizer Chiefs are undefeated in all of their home matches, winning five times with six draws. Amakhosi have four highest goalscorers for the club this season – Lorenzo Gordinho, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Willard Katsande and Bernard Parker – all with four goals to their name.
The above-mentioned players show that Chiefs have goalscorers all over the pitch. One player who needs to find himself on the scoresheet in the PSL is new-boy, Gustavo Paez. The Venezuelan is enjoying having to adjust to South African football and has stated that this style suits him.
Joseph Molangoane will also be one to watch out for this weekend. The former Chippa United winger has put together some fine performances, putting out George Lebese in the wide areas, with Edmore Chirambadare occupying the other wide spot. It will certainly be a tough encounter, but Chiefs definitely have the firepower to knock Sundowns off their perch.
If Mamelodi Sundowns were to win their game in hand, they could be well ahead of the rest of the hunting pack. As it stands, Downs are in fifth place, one spot lower than Kaizer Chiefs. Pitso Mosimane’s charges boast a decent record over Amakhosi, winning two on the bounce and are unbeaten in four matches.
Sundowns have been jam-packed with football due to their CAF Champions League commitments. But with that out of the way until the end of April, Downs can mount a real title surge up the table. It’s no secret that Downs can hurt any team on their day. Their 6-0 win over Orlando Pirates in February is proof of that.
And with most players in the squad going through the best phase of their careers, Sundowns have been a joy to watch. Undoubtedly Sundowns’ player of the year so far, Percy Tau, has been exceptional for the Chloorkop-based side.
Tau, who has just broken into the Bafana Bafana team, netted his first goal for the national side in the 3-1 win over Guinea-Bissau last Saturday. The 22-year-old forward has made huge strides in his career over the last year and played a major part in Sundowns winning the 2016 CAF Champions League.
Tau has scored nine goals in all competitions this season and has an assist count in the double figures. Teammate, Teko Modise, has spoken about the talent that his countryman possesses on his official website. It’s safe to say that Downs have the best squad in the country, and with a number of players hitting their stride for club and country, Mosimane has a fruitful tree to pick a team from.
Verdict: Draw (21/10)
As superb as Sundowns have been over the past year, Kaizer Chiefs certainly have the firepower to put them away. Amakhosi are undefeated on their home turf, while Downs have scored just seven goals in eight away matches. I doubt we’ll see fireworks in this one. Back these sides to cancel each other out at 21/10.
Written by Jesse Nagel @Hollywoodbets