John Tlale: Orlando Pirates have made things difficult for themselves

The former Bafana Bafana keeper has backed the Brazilians to retain the league title after Bucs failed to win on Saturday

Legendary Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper John Tlale says his former side will win this season's Premier Soccer League (PSL) title after Orlando Pirates drew with Cape Town City on Saturday.

“I think Orlando Pirates have made life difficult for themselves after their draw against City. They dropped two vital points and they know they should have won the game,” Tlale told Goal.

Sundowns will replace Pirates at the top of the league standings if they win their game in hand which is against Golden Arrows on Tuesday.

“However, they must now wait for favours from other teams. Sundowns can collect six points out of the two remaining games and win the league,” he said.

“Sundowns are out of the Caf Champions League and they will want to go all out now, but we can also count (Bidvest) Wits. I also think Wits are also checking who will drop the points,” he noted.

Wits can only win the league if Sundowns and Pirates lose their remaining matches and they defeat Arrows on the final day of the season.

“I think had they won their game against SuperSport United last week, they would be at a better position right now. They were robbed in that match, maybe they can still sneak in but Sundowns have a very good chance," he reacted. 

Regarding the relegation battle with Baroka FC set to face Maritzburg United next weekend, Tlale says it’s tough to predict what will happen at the bottom end of the table.

“I think it’s tough to predict that one because teams like Chippa United and Maritzburg are doing very well and we will see next weekend,” he continued

“Look, Maritzburg will have to beat Baroka and it’s not going to be easy because it’s an away game and Chippa are also doing well having defeated Polokwane City,” said the former PSL titlr champion.

Free State Stars will also want to win their last match, but it will not be easy against Sundowns. I think a win for any team will definitely ensure safety, but it will very interesting,” he responded.

“I think Sundowns will win it especially after losing to Wydad (Casablanca), they will want to redeem themselves and focus on the league because it’s their only opportunity to win a trophy this season,” predicted the legend.

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“My only concern is coach Pitso (Mosimane) selecting the same team over and over again. I think they are now predictable and some of the players are not fresh,” he added.

“He has quality players in the likes of Oupa Manyisa and Andile Jali, maybe it’s time to rest Hlompho (Kekana) and (Tiyani) Mabunda, they are good players but they could be tired and you can see sometimes it’s only the heart that is playing not the legs,” said the Kroonstad-born coach.

“I don’t think the likes of Jali and Manyisa have become bad players overnight. I think by rotating his players, Mosimane will keep them fresh because they have played so many games compared to the other teams,” he concluded.