Absa Premiership

A league full of surprises

2018-02-11 06:07
Pitso Mosimane (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - With 10 games still to come this season, there will most likely be a bumpy road ahead for the Absa Premiership

The log of top scorers looks likely to change hands after Gift Motupa and Evans Rusike’s latest exploits. They are a goal behind Rodney Ramagalela, who should be worried about his impotence in front of goals.

But for log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns’ coach Pitso Mosimane, there should be little to worry about, particularly when he looks over his shoulder.

The Brazilians are surely marching to their second league title in three seasons in style.

At the rate they are going, they would want to be in a commanding position before they begin with their quest to conquer the continent again next month. Sundowns will meet either Rayon Sports of Rwanda or Burundi’s LLB Academic FC, which will go head-to-head in the preliminary round of the CAF Champions League.

One thing about Sundowns is that they play to win. With only two draws, it is clear that their approach is to win at all costs.

Since when was a Sundowns’ encounter against Free State Stars a top-of-the-log battle?

Things have changed so much this season that this game is a top-of-the-log clash as it pits numbers one and three against each other.

So much has changed that Stars are no longer worried about relegation, but could have a say about who wins the championship when the season ends.

They are also surprisingly in contention with just five points adrift of the log leaders.

Another top-of-the-log clash will see Kaizer Chiefs welcome Cape Town City at the FNB Stadium on Saturday night.

The two teams are tied on 31 points – seven behind Sundowns – and might eliminate one another from the title race.

New City signing Matthew Rusike, who scored on debut against Bidvest Wits, will be eager to face his former Chiefs team-mates.

Clashes between these two sides have always produced fireworks, and the same can be expected on Saturday.

It is even worse at the bottom of the table, with Platinum Stars fighting tooth and nail to move away from the automatic drop zone.

If their 3-3 draw against Chippa United last weekend is anything to go by, SuperSport United should expect a tough outing in Rustenburg at the weekend.

Time is fast running out for Roger De Sá and his team to move away from their position and they would want to start against United.

De Sá would have been impressed by his players’ never-say-die attitude and fighting spirit when they thrice came from behind to force a draw away at Chippa.

After their convincing 4-2 victory over Bloemfontein Celtic, United will be hoping they have turned the corner with that win.

With just the league programme to focus on following their loss in the Nedbank Cup, Bidvest Wits should be more motivated to finish the campaign on a high. The Students visit struggling Golden Arrows at Princess Magogo Stadium.

A win for Wits would see them overtake Arrows and could see them jump into 10th spot.

The weekend fixtures start on Friday with a KwaZulu-Natal derby between Maritzburg United and AmaZulu at Harry Gwala Stadium.

Both sides have been impressive lately, with United losing only once in seven and Usuthu going five games without a loss – three wins and two draws.

Read more on:    absa premiership  |  soccer
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Fixtures
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
Mamelodi Sundowns v Free State Stars, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 19:30
Friday, 23 February 2018
Maritzburg United v Platinum Stars, Harry Gwala Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 24 February 2018
Baroka FC v Polokwane City, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Cape Town City FC v Wits, Athlone Stadium 18:00
Mamelodi Sundowns v SuperSport United, Lucas Moripe Stadium 18:00
Kaizer Chiefs v Bloemfontein Celtic, FNB Stadium 20:15
Free State Stars v AmaZulu FC, Goble Park 20:15
Logs
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The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

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