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Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns: Who has the best squad?

3:58 PM GMT 01/08/2018
Lyle Lakay, Mamelodi Sundowns & Gustavo Paez, Kaizer Chiefs, July 2018
All eyes will again be on Pirates, Chiefs and Sundowns when the new season starts this coming weekend. Goal looks at which team has the best squad

The 2018-19 Premier Soccer League season is upon us, and as always, the big three teams in South Africa are expected to challenge for major trophies. 

Orlando Pirates haven't won a major trophy since their Nedbank Cup triumph in 2014, while Kaizer Chiefs have gone three full seasons without a piece of silverware. 

Mamelodi Sundowns have dominated the South African league over the past five years with three PSL titles under their belt, but who has the best squad for the new season? 


 ORLANDO PIRATES 


The Buccaneers have assembled a scary squad having signed a whopping nine players during the off-season. 

Brilliant Khuzwayo, Paseka Mako, Kudakwashe Mahachi, Asavela Mbekile, Meshack Maphangule, Abel Mabaso, Linda Mntambo, Vincent Pule and Ben Motshwari have all joined the Sea Robbers. 

The Soweto giants released Brighton Mhlongo, Riyaad Norodien, Issa Sarr, Thamsanqa Sangweni, Ayanda Nkosi, Ayanda Gcaba, and Bernard Morrison among other players who saw little game time last season. 

They have also beefed up their techical team with no less four acquisitions; the latest being Stephane Adams, who has been roped in to help solve their goalscoring problems. 

Pirates have played the majority of their pre-season games behind closed doors. Perhaps to avoid the spotlight and give little away in terms of how they will line-up this season. 

While the squad hasn't been tested as many would say, on paper, Pirates look like a team ready to take the PSL by storm again. 

Their top two finish in the previous campaign made millions of football fans around the continent realise that the winds of change are blowing, and with the squad they currently have, the rest of 15 PSL teams should be wary of what is about to hit them. 

Micho Sredojevic knows the expectations, and he will be under pressure to get the best of the current squad, and most importantly produce the results that will see Pirates win trophies again. 


 KAIZER CHIEFS 


Amakhosi have been criticised for not doing enough in the transfer market, and while they still have a team capable of winning trophies at any given time, this season will be seen as a rebuilding phase for them.

Coach Giovanni Solinas was only appointed three weeks ago, and he hasn't been able to get his hands as dirty as he should. 

Chiefs lost their last two pre-season friendlies with Solinas watching from the stands, and it may be too early to conclude that they will fail based on their pre-season results. 

The Italian coach still has to find the right combinations that will make the team tick again. Putting together a winning team will be his biggest challenge at the club that has only signed four players. 

In all honesty, Chiefs have become predictable in recent years, and this has cost them a lot in league and cup matches over the years. 

Khama Billiat, Letlhogonolo Mirwa and Virgil Vries have all joined the club, while Adriamirado 'Dax' Adrianarimanana's move to Naturena is still pending. 

Billiat is Amakhosi's marquee signing, but he will not make things happen on his own - he needs the help of his teammates to take Chiefs to greater heights.  

The Glamour Boys squad looks very thin, and as things stand, it looks like they will rely heavily on individual brilliance than the entire team. They are still far from matching both Pirates and Sundowns pound-for-pound in terms of depth. 

Mamelodi Sundowns 


 MAMELODI SUNDOWNS 


The Brazilians have always been one of the smartest teams when it comes to scouting talent and attracting big-name players. 

It is for this reason Andile Jali, Jose Ali Meza, Lyle Lakay and Toni Silva all opted for the Tshwane giants when they could have easily went elsewhere. 

Their fans have already seen Pitso Mosimane's squad and how the coach intends to get the best out of his team in the new season. 

Sundowns have already played three tough matches - two against AS Togo-Port in the Caf Champions League and the other against Chiefs in the Shell Helix Ultra Cup. 

Looking at their squad, it's easy to conclude that they have the best and tested team in the league, and it will take something special to topple them in the new season. 

The squad has experience and everyone appears to be hungry for success, but the only thing Mosimane has to work on is to manage his team well because of the hectic schedule ahead. 

Keeping every player happy is also one of Mosimane's major tasks, and should he get that right, then Sundowns will again be unstopple this season.