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It's getting hotter at the top of the Premiership

Written By Themba Khumalo on Thursday, February 13, 2014 | Thursday, February 13, 2014

The South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) is the sixth best league in Africa, and 61st in the world according to the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). However, the championship drama makes it one of the most exciting leagues in the world. Most of premiership championship has been won at the last game of the season since the inception of the league 18 years ago.

This season we already witnessed Kaizer Chiefs winning 9 consecutively Premiership games. However, they were unable to make it 10 Premiership wins in a row as they drew 2-2 with Maritzburg United. Amakhosi is the most balance team in the PSL. They have the best keeper, strong defence with good aerial ability, strong anchor-men, creative midfielders and excellent striking force. They are the second highest goal scorers and second least conceded team in the PSL.

They are on top of the log but congested PSL fixtures and African voyage for the CAF Champions League will destabilise the domestic form due to fatigue, inconsistency and complacency. I don’t foresee Chiefs coming up with balance equation for domestic and African championship fixtures. I foresee Chiefs dropping some crucial points during catch up games due to pressure and fatigue.

Mamelodi Sundowns started like house in fire but dropped unnecessary points away from home against the minnows. Bafana Ba Style have quality team coached by an excellent coach but complacency and inconsistency have affected the tempo of the team. Sundowns are in good spirit after hammered Pirates away from home. Sundowns are one of the team which can easily put Chiefs under pressure for the Championship. Sundowns have depth of quality players to wrestle for championship with Chiefs.

AmaZulu are also in a god position on top. However, they lack players with championship winning mentality. They have a good coach with advanced tactical philosophy in Craig Rosslee but I don’t foresee them winning the PSL championship. They already played many game than others to be 3rd in the log which can change anytime soon. AmaZulu will be fighting to be in top 8 than winning the championship.

SuperSport United is also one of the team with a championship potential but the team is suffering from inconsistency and complacency epidemic to put pressure on Chiefs. In the previous four games after CHAN, United collected 6 points of 12 available points. The coach Cavin Johnson is worried about lack of composure after his strikers missed clear cut goal opportunities against AmaZulu and University of Pretoria whilst elapsing of concentration at the back has resulted in conceding some soft goals. United has a potential to finish within top 5.

Platinum Stars is one of the most consistency team in the PSL with cup winning reputation. However, they only played to the utmost best against big teams but drops unnecessary points against small teams. Platinum Stars are only good playing at home but weak when playing away from home. They have depth of quality players but I don’t foresee them challenging for championship this season.

Orlando Pirates is outside top 5 with many games in hand but the previous performance of the team justified that games in hand can’t be translated into maximum points in the bag. Pirates is not impressive this season. They already played 9 home games but lost 4 and won 5. They failed to take advantage of home ground advantage and now only left with 5 home games to be played at Orlando Stadium this season excluding home derby fixture against Chiefs to be played at FNB stadium. I don’t foresee Pirates challenging for the championship this season. The best position will be number 3 in the log. The inconsistency performance coupled with ineffective lone striker tactics have killed the team chances to close the gap with Chiefs.

Football is unpredictable but the race for Championship will be between on form Chiefs and Sundowns. We are not going to have a dark horse for the championship. The two teams have started the race for championship whilst other teams will be a spectator of the race.

By Owen Mundalamo


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