Barker backs Sundowns to beat Chiefs this weekend

Steve Barker gives Goal his thoughts on who will win the Pretoria/Soweto derby on Saturday, believing that Sundowns could capitalise on Chiefs' Caf Champions League disappointment

University of Pretoria boss Steve Barker has hinted that he feels Mamelodi Sundowns will have the upper hand when they travel to FNB Stadium on Saturday to take on log-leading Kaizer Chiefs in a potential PSL title-decider.

Tuks were defeated by their Pretoria big-brothers Sundowns on Sunday, and Barker said he was pleased that the Downs and Chiefs were keeping the league exciting.

“I’m glad that the league is exciting. At one stage it looked like Chiefs would run away with it,” Barker told Goal ahead of the weekend’s massive clash.

“They still probably have the front foot in terms of their games in hand, but pressure can either help you do well, or it can put anxiety and make it difficult.

“I wouldn’t want to predict who will win the league, but I think [Saturday] will go a long way to deciding who will win the league.”

The Glamour Boys have a meeting with lowly Golden Arrows in midweek before taking on the Brazilians, while Pitso Mosimane’s troops have the luxury of five days off before the weekend.

Barker felt that Chiefs would need to put the disappointment of last weekend’s Caf Champions League exit behind them, before they could properly focus their attention on the PSL.

“If Chiefs win, it will be tough task for Sundowns, but if it doesn’t go that way, then I think Sundowns have a big chance,” Barker explained.

“For me, a lot hinges on Saturday but still a lot of games to go. Sundowns are on form, having won five in a row now in the league, so the momentum is there, they (Sundowns) just have to keep it going.

“Chiefs have come off a bit of a difficult African sojourn but there is a lot to play for and I’m looking forward to a good game.

Sundowns and Chiefs are deadlocked on 49 points, though Amakhosi have two games in hand and could restore a six point lead over Mosimane’s men, before maybe extending that lead to nine, should Chiefs defeat their Pretoria rivals on Saturday evening.