Absa Premiership

Grudges and clashes as the PSL marches on

2017-11-19 06:07
BIG HEART: Percy Tau will lead Mamelodi Sundowns’ attack against Bidvest Wits. (Themba Makofane)

Johannesburg - A season is a long time in football, where nothing lasts forever.

Last season, a fixture of Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns was regarded as a potential top of the log affair. Not this time around.

Tuesday’s clash at Bidvest Stadium could be regarded as a relegation battle with the Students trying to get out of the danger zone.

Not that the Brazilians have been brilliant either.

The two have not been at their best after starting the season on a rather low note.

Pay heavily

Sundowns did register a hard-fought victory over Orlando Pirates in their past league fixture to end a three match losing streak.

Clashes between these two sides are always highly-charged and this one won’t be any different, with both sides playing for their lives.

After his exploits in Bafana Bafana colours, Percy Tau will be eager to continue where he left off in Dakar, where he scored against Senegal.

Meanwhile, Polokwane City and Bloemfontein Celtic could pay heavily for their participation in the Telkom Knockout competition.

Three days after their semifinal clash on Sunday afternoon, the two sides will have to quickly shift their focus to the league campaign. They both have matches scheduled for Wednesday against teams that last played a fortnight ago.

But this comes with the territory and they have to soldier on, like it or not.

One defeat

Interestingly, the season will resume with some grudge games with clubs that clashed in the Telkom Knockout tournament meeting again in league encounters.

Celtic go back to Rustenburg, where they knocked out Platinum Stars. They will be hoping to continue where they left off a fortnight ago.

But after registering their maiden victory of the season at the same venue, Stars will be out not only to avenge that defeat, but also to continue where they left off against Ajax Cape Town.

Benni McCarthy also welcomes Baroka FC, the side that knocked him out of the Telkom tournament. Baroka have been the talk of town following their brilliant start to the season with just one defeat in 10 matches.

Cape Town City started life positively under McCarthy, but have been going through a tough time lately with just one victory in four matches in all competitions.

They will want to continue where they left off against Free State Stars when they won 1-0.

Another repeat of the Telkom Knockout cup is between AmaZulu and Kaizer Chiefs on Wednesday.

Without victory

Usuthu went 3-0 down to Amakhosi and will be hoping lightning does not strike twice. Chiefs have also been blowing hot and cold – failing to take their chances in front of goals.

They failed to find the back of the net in their last league encounter against Polokwane City.

Golden Arrows are also looking to avenge their Telkom loss to Orlando Pirates and will fancy their chances against the Buccaneers, who have now gone five league games without a victory.

Arrows, who lost their first league game to SuperSport United, are looking to bounce back at the expense of the ever-promising Pirates.

After a positive start to the season, Fadlu Davids’ Maritzburg United seem to have hit turbulence, with their league form taking a dip.

They will be looking to arrest their decline when they visit Polokwane City who are also looking to move away from the wrong side of the table.

Read more on:    psl  |  telkom knockout  |  johannesburg  |  soccer
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Fixtures
Friday, 19 January 2018
Wits v Bloemfontein Celtic, Bidvest Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 20 January 2018
Cape Town City FC v Ajax Cape Town, Cape Town Stadium 15:30
Free State Stars v Maritzburg United, Goble Park 15:30
Mamelodi Sundowns v Platinum Stars, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 18:00
AmaZulu FC v SuperSport United, King Zwelithini Stadium 20:15
Orlando Pirates v Polokwane City, Orlando Stadium 20:15
Sunday, 21 January 2018
Chippa United v Golden Arrows, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 15:30
Baroka FC v Kaizer Chiefs, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
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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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