S'Busiso Mseleku

Woza Absa Premiership 2016/17 season

2016-08-16 13:22
Sport24 columnist S’Busiso Mseleku (File)

What a dramatic start to the English Premier League!

First it was the shock 1-0 loss of defending champions Leicester City to newly-promoted Hull City in the tale of two Cities and then the seven-goal fest between Arsenal and Liverpool at the Emirates.

If that was not enough to whet the appetite of South African football lovers ahead of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) season that kicks off next week Tuesday, nothing ever will.

The local season is kicking off a week late because of the 2016 Rio Olympics where Mzansi had two teams - Banyana Banyana and the SA Under-23s - representing the country.

The postponement was made to accommodate clubs such as Mamelodi Sundowns who had key players like Keagan Dolly in the national team.

The season starts in an odd way with four matches next Tuesday and three the following day followed by MTN8 fixtures a mere three days later that will run from Friday to Sunday.

The openers will see Bidvest Wits who finished second last season, host Kaizer Chiefs who faded badly towards the end of the season, giving up their title with a whimper.

Newcomers Cape Town City host Polokwane City at the magnificent Cape Town Stadium while City’s neighbours Ajax Cape Town will travel the opposite direction to face other new babies Baroka FC at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium.

The last fixture of the opening day will see Chippa United, who finished an impressive sixth, lay on the red carpet for Free State Stars at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Three matches will be on offer next Wednesday as Orlando Pirates open with what has become their traditional opening and closing fixture of the season against Golden Arrows at Orlando Stadium, Platinum Stars come up against SuperSport United while Bloemfontein Celtic will engage Maritzburg United.

Mamelodi Sundowns will be the only club missing in action on the first two days as they will be engaged in the CAF Champions League semi-final.

And then on the weekend, City will host Chiefs in a MTN8 quarter-final on Friday with Saturday matches being Platinum Stars v Chippa, Wits v Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns v Supersport United being the only match on the Sunday.

The first trophy of the season will be handed over on October 1, which is the day penciled in for the MTN8 final.

There will be a short break in January to accommodate the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals in Gabon.

Before the league matches end on May 27, there will be the Telkom Knockout Cup and the curtain will finally come down with the Nedbank Cup final on June 3.

It is indeed a mouthwatering season to look forward to.

The question on many lips would be: Will anyone dispose Sundowns as kings? Others would be keen to see how the Soweto giants, Chiefs and Pirates do.

There is quite a lot to look forward to.

S'Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of the biggest awards in a career spanning over 30 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

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.

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The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

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