Absa Premiership

Torrent of drama on and off the field in ABSA Premiership

2017-12-03 06:04
Veteran Reneilwe Letsholonyane is facing Orlando Pirates on Tuesday. ( Themba Makofane)

Johannesburg - From home games played away from home to lacklustre performances, there has been much upheaval in the ABSA Premiership.

Cape Town City have been forced to “relocate” to the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu for their game against Maritzburg United on Tuesday because their home ground, Cape Town Stadium, is unavailable.

Respond to criticism

The stadium is being used for the upcoming Rugby Sevens World Series event and the pitch at Athlone Stadium has been deemed unfit for an Absa Premiership fixture.

So Benni McCarthy is taking his team to KwaZulu-Natal for a home fixture against a KwaZulu-Natal side.

Apart from this sideshow, the real talking point is what is happening on the field.

After 12 draws in 14 matches last weekend, fans are waiting to see how their clubs respond to the criticism about their teams’ below-par performances.

As things stand, any side – from bottom-of-the-log Bidvest Wits to number one Baroka FC – can still win the title by the end of the season. Only 10 points separate these two teams.

Clubs near the top have failed to take advantage of the so-called title favourites’ slip-ups, which will give them the belief they can still make it following their poor start to the season.

Bizarrely, even after failing to win any of their previous five league games, Baroka, who dropped 11 points in the process, still maintain their position at the top of the league.

Highly motivated

Orlando Pirates’ first victory in seven matches took them to second on the table. Before earning three points from Bloemfontein Celtic, the Buccaneers had dropped 14 points and earned just four out of a possible 18. Nevertheless, they are still second on the table.

This sums up the Absa Premiership season so far.

SuperSport United will take a giant step towards claiming the Q-Innovation award (finishing the quarter with the most points), when they visit Pirates at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday.

After beating an out of sorts Ajax Cape Town on Wednesday, United, who are still playing catch-up matches following their involvement in the CAF Confederation Cup, need just four points from two games to win the R1.5 million Q-Innovation jackpot.

United, who lost the CAF final to TP Mazembe last weekend, bounced back immediately by beating Ajax 1-0.

But they will meet a highly motivated Pirates fresh from a long-awaited win.

The Bucs’ faithful are hoping that their slender victory over Celtic will lead them to a winning streak.

Log leaders Baroka take a trip to Mamelodi Sundowns and will look to consolidate their place at the top.

Grudge game

The Brazilians have been blowing hot and cold lately and Baroka will fancy their chances at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville.

On Wednesday, Chippa United welcome Kaizer Chiefs in a grudge game following their encounter in the Telkom Knockout last month.

Chippa, who are on a nine-game unbeaten run, will be out to avenge the cup competition defeat, which saw coach Teboho Moloi blast match officials after the game. Moloi later apologised for his unsavoury remarks.

Chiefs are also not in a good position as they have gone four games without a win.

Read more on:    cape town city  |  psl  |  johannesburg  |  soccer
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Fixtures
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Free State Stars v SuperSport United, Goble Park 19:30
Mamelodi Sundowns v Maritzburg United, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 19:30
Friday, 15 December 2017
Cape Town City FC v AmaZulu FC, Cape Town Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Mamelodi Sundowns v Bloemfontein Celtic, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 15:30
Chippa United v Polokwane City, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 15:30
Free State Stars v Orlando Pirates, Goble Park 18:00
Wits v Platinum Stars, Bidvest Stadium 20:15
Kaizer Chiefs v Ajax Cape Town, Moses Mabhida Stadium 20:15
Logs
Team P W PTS
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Date Home Team Result Away Team
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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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