Mark Gleeson

Only 1 question asked in PSL

2015-03-19 13:06
Mark Gleeson (Gallo Images)

The overwhelming question South African football followers have wanted answered in the last weeks is “Will Kaizer Chiefs hold on and win the title?”

There is talk of little else.

Latest PSL standings

The mathematics suggests while the possibility is strong, the battle for the Premier Soccer League championship has the potential to provide a Hollywood-style finish with enough twists, turns and sub-plots to keep the audience riveted through to mid-May.

In other words, the answer is, “maybe, probably, but we’ll all need to have our seatbelts fastened before we get there”.

After Wednesday’s win in the rain over a washed-out Moroka Swallows, a much relieved Kaizer Chiefs have advanced to 54 points, which is the exact total that SuperSport United needed in 2008 when they won the first of three back-to-back titles.

With six games left Chiefs will surely far surpass that. They have another 18 points on offer and a chance to finish with 72, which will be a record tally for the league since it was cut from 18 to 16 teams and the games played reduced from 34 to 30 some 13 seasons ago now.

Last season Sundowns strode imperiously to a new mark with 65 points and their coach Pitso Mosimane has spoken in recent weeks of his belief that his side will surpass that figure this time round. It is a bold prediction that might have as much to do with a strong confidence in his team as it does his attempts to inflict more psychological pressure on Chiefs. But the way Sundowns are playing means it is an entirely viable assumption. With seven games to go, Sundowns can finish with a maximum of 67.

The eight-point gap between Chiefs and Sundowns is significant although there is a game in hand for the latter.

Key for Chiefs will be their next three games against AmaZulu (home), University of Pretoria (away) and Polokwane City (home), offering them have a chance to move to the cusp of taking the title.

But after that trio of must-win games, they play Sundowns and Wits before ending away at Chippa United.

If Chiefs bank three successive wins in their next three games, they will temper any chance that their meeting with Sundowns on April 29 becomes an effective championship decider. But any slip-ups and door remains open for Mosimane’s men.

As much as Sundowns continue to win – victory over Chippa United on Wednesday was their seventh victory in their last eight league outings – their hopes remain reliant on Chiefs’ dropping points. But they too have a few banana skins in their path – like bogey teams Platinum Stars, who they must still play twice, and SuperSport United.

Mark Gleeson is a world-renowned soccer commentator and Editorial Director of Mzanzi Football.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

Read more on:    psl  |  mark gleeson  |  soccer
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