The Absa Premiership title race is always interesting at this stage of the season and it’s usually four or five teams still in with a shout. This season seems to be no different. A lot of teams can still fancy themselves for the coveted trophy. Kaizer Chiefs, however, hold a massive advantage despite teams like Orlando Pirates picking up form at the right time. Amakhosi are still overwhelming favourites but how many points do they need to wrap up the title?
Orlando Pirates started the season off very slow, clouded by internal problems after head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic resigned after two games, winning one and losing the other. The highly-rated Rhulani Mokwena then took over the coaching reigns at Orlando Pirates. There were some doubts in the Black and White camp with concerns that Rhulani may be too inexperienced to take over such a big club. He was in charge for 14 games across all competitions, winning just four matches and losing five. Josef Zinnbauer was then appointed to fix the mess Pirates were in and improve the team. The German tactician wasted no time, winning six of his first seven matches while drawing the other, collecting 19 from a possible 21.
|Paseko Mako – Image copyright Steve Haag Sports|
Some may feel the Buccaneers are back in the race, but they will need a lot of favours from those around them. Zinnbauer and his boys are currently on 36 points with 10 games to spare meaning they can go as high as 66 points, should they win all their remaining matches, which isn’t easy at all considering they have to play Cape Town City (A), Kaizer Chiefs (H), Mamelodi Sundowns (A), Bidvest Wits (H) and SuperSport United (H).
|Siphesihle Ndlovu – Image copyright Steve Haag Sports|
The defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns progressed to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and will face either Al Ahly, Zamalek or Raja Casablanca. The Brazilians have shown in the past that they can take on any team on the continent. Pitso Mosimane’s boys are currently third on the log, having played 18 matches with 35 points to their name. Masandawana can go as high as 71 points this season should they win all their 12 matches which include fixtures against Pirates, Chiefs and a trip to Cape Town City.
|Mamelodi Sundowns – Image copyright Steve Haag Sports|
SuperSport United have been inconsistent this season and we can say they are out of the title race having played two games more than the log-leaders, yet are still 11 points behind. The three-time league champions are on 34 points after 21 matches and can only go as high as 61 points.
|Ricardo Goss – Image copyright Steve Haag Sports|
Bidvest Wits are the dark horses having played only 15 games due to their CAF Confederations commitment where they were knocked out in the group stages. Despite playing less games, the Students have registered 30 points. Playing catch up is not easy because you play week in week out against well-rested teams but Gavin hunt knows how to deal with hectic schedules. Hunt and his men can go as far as 75 points.
|Kaizer Chiefs – Image copyright Steve Haag Sports|
Kaizer Chiefs have been the pacesetters throughout the campaign. With 11 games left to play, Amakhosi are huge favourites to clinch the title. Chiefs are on 45 points and need at least 76 points to win the league for the first time since 2014. However, 70 points can still be enough for Amakhosi provided they beat Sundowns and Wits. Eight wins and two draws from the remaining 11 matches should be enough for Ernst Middendorp to be crowned Absa Premiership champion for the first time ever. His side still has favorable home fixtures against AmaZulu, Stellenbosch, Maritzburg United, Chippa United and favorable away matches to Polokwane City and Baroka.
Written by Banele Pikwa for Hollywoodbets