PSL

Sundowns, Chiefs look for bounce

2016-11-13 06:09
Pitso Mosimane. (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Defending league champions Mamelodi Sundowns start their operation catch-up on Saturday in a mouth-watering clash against Kaizer Chiefs.

Going into this important fixture, this is how Sundowns’ stats read: played three, won one, lost one and drawn one.

The two sides will be looking to bounce back following losses in the Telkom Knockout last weekend.

This will be the first time former Sundowns captain Ramahlwe Mphahlele faces his former team-mates, and this should make for an entertaining affair.

Last month, Chiefs seemed to have found their footing, but have not been convincing lately after dropping four points in their previous two games against Orlando Pirates and Baroka FC.

This saw them lose their top spot to Bidvest Wits.

What should be worrying, though, for Steve Komphela, is the fact that they have failed to score in those two games.

Pitso Mosimane, on the other hand, is also worried about his players’ ­focus in the domestic league, saying his charges seemed to be thinking about the Fifa Club World Cup in Japan next month, rather than the present.

Based on that, “Jingles” has a lot to do to bring them back to reality, and the sooner they focus on the job at hand, the better for them because they have five more games to think of before going to Japan.

While certain clubs have been too preoccupied with changes in their coaching personnel, Wits have gone about their business quietly.

The Students are perched at the summit of the log and are the ­only side still to lose a game.

Gavin Hunt has, however, continued to downplay his side’s chances of finally winning the championship.

But last year’s runners-up have what it takes to go all the way to the end of the season, ­despite what Hunt wants us to believe.

They should fancy their chances against ­Platinum Stars, who have found the going tough this season. But they did get a morale-boosting victory against Golden Arrows.

Pirates will be looking to bounce back from the 6-1 thrashing by SuperSport United when they host Free State Stars, which also takes place on Saturday.

Stars, who are still searching for their maiden victory this season, will be out to make it two in a row over the Soweto giants after eliminating Chiefs in the Telkom Knockout last weekend.

Under Italian Giovanni Solinas, Stars seem to have found their rhythm, but they need to convert their good run in cup competition to the league, where they have been struggling.

Confidence should still be high for the players to continue where they left off last Sunday.

Another side still looking for its first win this season is Ajax Cape Town, which plays at home against Maritzburg United.

New coach Stanley Menzo will be aiming for his first victory after getting a point against Stars in his first game for the bottom-of-the-log Cape side, who parted ways with Roger De Sá a fortnight ago.

After a good start to the season, the wheels have come off for Dan Malesela’s Chippa United, who still have to win in four matches.

Pressure is slowly building up for Malesela, who is facing high-riding Cape Town City.

Eric Tinkler’s side is on a high after winning their previous two games and are also in the semifinals of the knockout competition.

SuperSport United are riding the crest of the wave after going nine games unbeaten in all competitions. Stuart Baxter’s men are on a roll and they are second on the log.

And United have a trip to Polokwane for a date with Baroka.

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Fixtures
13 December 2016
Cape Town City FC v Platinum Stars, Cape Town Stadium 19:30
Maritzburg United v Orlando Pirates, Harry Gwala Stadium 19:30
14 December 2016
Golden Arrows v Wits, Chatsworth Stadium 19:30
Kaizer Chiefs v Bloemfontein Celtic, FNB Stadium 19:30
Free State Stars v Baroka FC, Goble Park 19:30
Highlands Park v Ajax Cape Town, Makhulong Stadium 19:30
Polokwane City v Chippa United, Peter Mokaba Stadium 19:30
16 December 2016
Cape Town City FC v SuperSport United, Cape Town Stadium 18:00
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