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Stuart Baxter, lining up his Chiefs to defend their trophy

Weighing up Kaizer Chiefs and Sundowns PSL title race

Stuart Baxter, lining up his Chiefs to defend their trophy

Ignat Manjoo

AmaKhosi and the Brazilians are vying for the 2013/14 ABSA Premiership crown, with just three points separating them, going into Saturday's crunch encounter between them in Soweto

Goal takes a look at PSL title contenders Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs remaining matches to see who has the edge in the run in for South Africa's premier trophy.

The Brazilians would still have played an extra game, so the title won't be in their hands even if they beat Chiefs on Saturday. Goal will cover this game with a preview and numerous interviews from experts, coaches and staff. Most of whom have already stated that this single game won't determine the title race.

So let's have a look at the rest of the games which could make the difference. After this weekend, Chiefs will have six matches remaining in the hunt to defend their PSL crown. For Stuart Baxter, fixtures against the relegation-troubled outfits Polokwane City and Free State Stars are potential "banana-skin" affairs given the all-to-play-for factor.

Six points from those fixtures will go a long way to steering them to a successive title. Against Bidvest Wits, who are flying-high currently and fighting to solidify a top-three place, Chiefs will have another battle on their hands. There are some who consider Wits title contenders, hoping results go their way elsewhere, but the Students don't have the pedigree to maintain a consistent threat.

Black Aces are also tough customers, and Chiefs will beware their upset potential, especially after they beat Sundowns and Orlando Pirates already this season. Having beaten them 1-0 in Nelspruit on the opening day of the season, the Amakhosi will be confident that they know what to do to gain the initiative.

Then there's AmaTuks. In the 2009 Nedbank Cup last 16 round, the University of Pretoria side shocked the entire nation by eliminating AmaKhosi. When Tuks got promoted in 2012, the Amakhosi's struggles against them continued, failing to win any of their league meetings.

This season though, the University outfit has found the going tough against the Glamour Boys, with two defeats in league and Cup action respectively. With the form they are in, expect them to inflict another blow on AmaTuks.

AmaZulu appear to have become the whipping boys of AmaKhosi after last season's 6-0 thrashing and the 4-1 hiding in Durban in December. Based on that, Baxter will be quietly confident, but Usuthu are trying to secure a top-eight place so nothing can be taken for granted.

Sundowns' remaining five matches after this weekend, sees them take on Bloemfontein Celtic, Black Aces, Moroka Swallows, Supersport United and Maritzburg United. These are fixtures that on paper, you would expect them to win.

However, against Black Aces, a side they have lost to this season, Pitso Mosimane would need a much improved performance against the experience of coach Clive Barker.

With most of Sundowns stars such as Katlego Mashego and Khama Billiat returning from injury, the Pretoria side will be boosted for their testing Derby against SuperSport United. Their neighbours are falling down the table after a bright start, but form won't come into it in the Derby. Literally, anything could happen then.

Though, you'd expect them to get the better of another team struggling for form, Moroka Swallows. They always seem to have the upper-hand against Maritzburg United away. The exception was when United won 1-0 two seasons ago. You can't write them off totally.

Bloemfontein Celtic are looking to solidify a top-eight berth, and have always given Downs a tough time home and away. So, these remaining fixtures indicate that no matter who wins between Sundowns and Chiefs on Saturday, there's potential for the race to swing either way thereafter.

Chiefs remaining teams to play: Sundowns, Black Aces, Polokwane City, Free State Stars, Bidvest Wits, AmaTuks, AmaZulu

Sundowns to play: Kaizer Chiefs, Bloem Celtic, Black Aces, Moroka Swallows, Supersport United, Maritzburg United

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