The Premier Soccer League is heading to a climax and many have already ruled that the PSL title is for Mamelodi Sundowns to lose.
Based on the Brazilians’ not so crisp form in their games especially at home, one is tempted to believe that the race will go down and be decided in the final game.
I may be wrong to say the resurgence of Orlando Pirates will be a threat to say the Tshwane side must up their game in the few remaining games of the league.
The Buccaneers’ win in the Soweto derby over Kaizer Chiefs has challenged Sundowns’ title credentials because a four point gap is not a comfortable lead.
Looking ahead, Pitso Mosimane’s men have Chippa United, Golden Arrows and Bidvest Wits at home, I do not believe they will not get the full nine points in the three encounters.
Why? Sundowns are not convincing at home compared to the previous campaigns where they were untouchable at Lucas Moripe Stadium or at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.
A look at their campaign so far, they have five losses in the league, drew twice, four wins at home and when you compare with their away record, you’ll see the difference.
The 2016 African champions have bagged nine wins on the road, drew twice to Kaizer Chiefs and the Chilli Boys, but have lost once to Polokwane City – a good record for them on the road.
Now here comes my argument, with Milutin Sredojevic continuously insisting that he is not chasing the league title, the log leaders’ inconsistent run should be a cause for concern.
Although they have had such pressure before, for Sundowns to keep the race in their favour, they must not lose and that comes with pressure on the playing and technical personnel, that is to beat Chippa, Baroka and Arrows (who usually give them tough times).
Having said that, in between those games, there is the Caf Champions League and Nedbank Cup headache, they meet EC Bees at home on Tuesday and welcome Rwanda’s Rayon Sports on Saturday.
The technical team will hope to get a clean bill of health after both matches for them to have a full complement of the team to keep the fire burning when it comes to their eighth league title chase.
Sundowns has quality on all fronts, that is a fact and Mosimane will have to plan carefully because chasing three trophies which come with an element of losing all of them.
In my opinion, the Ke Yona trophy does not offer much for their cause, they are already in the African competition, my fear is that this will distract their chances when it comes to Caf and the league (but then a big team must win trophies especially at home).
Should they win the three league games this month, no matter what happens to Pirates based on results, Sundowns will have 52 points compared to Bucs will remain at 48 (if Pirates win their next three).
For the Soweto giants, the race is not a walk in the park either, they are away to Abafana Bes’thende, at home to Bloemfontein Celtic and travel to SuperSport United. Will they get nine points?
Yes they can because Pirates are consistent in the second round compared to Downs, they have six wins, only lost and drew once and this tells they are set to keep Downs on their toes until the fat lady sings.
On the other hand, Pirates have no Caf commitment and are rested enough to challenge for both the Nedbank and the league, this gives them the edge of Sundowns.
Many have counted Free State Stars, Maritzburg United, Kaizer Chiefs as dark horses, but my threat comes from Pirates and the Rhulani Mokwena factor will always haunt Sundowns.
Mokwena has learned a lot at Chloorkop and we all know that Sundowns finish the season and their matches well, that is how Pirates is structured these days, they are different in the second half and they are aldo dangerous at this stage of the league.
To revert to the statement that the league is for Sundowns to lose, I believe this will be realistic whenever they change their winning run at home.
After all, charity begins at home and I still say this, winning the upcoming three league games will clear the air as to who will walk away with the R10 million prize come end of the campaign.