Absa Premiership

Sundowns title credentials to be tested

2018-01-07 06:06
BAD START: Milutin Sredojevic.(Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePix)

Johannesburg - Three games in seven days – this is what awaits log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns as they resume their title challenge.

The Brazilians’ resolve will be tested when they face Ajax Cape Town on Tuesday and Orlando Pirates on Saturday.

Sundowns were in Polokwane on Saturday and will be away in Cape Town on Tuesday, before welcoming Pirates at their Loftus fortress.

Memorable return

Pirates return to where they were beaten 6-0 last season and will be eager to avoid the same result.

They will also be out to avenge their defeat at Orlando Stadium in November.

Every game from now on is crucial as clubs either want to move away from the relegation zone or consolidate their position at the top of the table.

The league action starts in Bloemfontein, where Celtic welcome Golden Arrows on Sunday afternoon.

Clinton Larsen goes back to Dr Molemela Stadium, which was his slaughterhouse when he was still at Celtic, with the hope of making a memorable return.

Arrows have been struggling so far and Larsen will be hoping his players used the festive break to recharge their batteries.

Celtic have also been blowing hot and cold and need a victory to start the year on a high note.

Convert opportunities

In Durban, AmaZulu welcome Chippa United at King Zwelithini Stadium and also hope to go back to winning ways.

Usuthu are yet to impress since their return to the elite division and Cavin Johnson has to start winning if he wants to avoid being the latest coaching casualty.

After losing their past two games, Chippa will have to convert the many opportunities they create and start winning matches.

Teboho Moloi has done a sterling job at the Chilli Boys, but sometimes his team lacks the bite needed to win.

On Wednesday, struggling Bidvest Wits welcome SuperSport United at Bidvest Stadium to continue their quest to move away from relegation.

Winning ways

After signing a few players during the transfer window, much is expected from the Students in the second round of the campaign.

The sooner they start winning matches, the better.

United have not been performing well either and will also need to get back to winning ways before they are dragged into the relegation dogfight.

The action continues on Friday, when Maritzburg United host Celtic and Ajax welcome Platinum Stars in Cape Town.

But the big one is set for Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, when Sundowns will plan to continue their dominance over Pirates.


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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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