Have Cape Town City proven their PSL title credentials?

Goal's Sandile Mazibuko picks the matches he reckons will define Cape Town City's league title credentials

Perhaps it may be untimely to say that Cape Town City will go all the way to clinch their coveted Premier Soccer League title.

But it also wouldn’t be perceptive to qualm their tittle credentials. Merely a 164 days into their existence, City won their maiden trophy with the Telkom Knockout . That came at the back of their impressive start in their league campaign as well.

But are victories against mid-table teams and league-strugglers a measure of anything?

That’s the thing with City, they do not only pick up points against their less fancied counterparts and what is more impressive with them is how they’ve not lost – away to Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates , Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits , - they thrived away at defending champions Sundowns and at current log leaders Wits and had it not been for the bizarre officiating on the day, they could’ve taken maximum points against Amakhosi too and drew against Bucs.  

In my opinion however, if you really need to test City’s credentials, this weekend's match against Orlando Pirates will prove far more illustrative, as is their next trips to Baroka FC and Maritzburg United as well as their home matches against Chiefs and Wits.

Cape Town City

There is obviously a view that City will need to beat favourites to prove their credentials, but that's not necessarily true. The reality is that leagues are won by teams who win the most points and it really doesn't matter how they get them.

But here are my reasons for picking the aforementioned matches:

- In Pirates, City will be tested by a top, quality side who desperately needs a sprinkle from their recent shortfalls. Should they win, City would’ve taken four-point from the Buccaneers, a feat that not many teams will achieve.  I say many teams will not achieve this against Pirates because they are expected to announce a new coach soon and momentarily they will be a side with a point to prove too.

- Baroka are perhaps more desperate than Pirates given their log position. But they are one of only two sides who managed to take all three points from City at home. City will be returning to the venue of their memorable TKO title triumph and a win for Eric Tinkler’s men would see them reclaim those points whilst also adding to their points tally.

- Other than the fact that Maritzburg are coached by his best-friend Roger De Sa, this will be the first time that City will be in the Midlands of Kwa-Zulu-Natal since their inception-their only trip to KZN was to Durban. The humid-dry conditions will prove to be a major test for the Capetonians whilst there is not doubting that De Sa will be out to avenge the defeat inflicted on him by his acquaintance during his final few games at Ajax Cape Town coach early this season.

And a win for City will see them gain more ground and by this time reach the crucial 40-points mark (if they manage to edge Pirates and Baroka) which will mean they have secured a top-eight spot.

Eric Tinkler and Roger de Sa meet again

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 - Against Chiefs, City will be taking their first step for their surge for now a top-four or top-five spot. The two sides have met two times already this season. First in the MTN8 Cup quarter-final clash where City emerged 1-0 winners and in the first round of the league at Soccer City, where Tinkler's charges had a genuine goal disallowed.

- And lastly gainst Wits, City will get a chance to make up for their two sluggish performances post their TKO triumph which saw them get a 4-0 hammering by Platinum Stars at home and a 1-0 defeat by Free State Stars in Bethlehem. Victory will also differ Wits, who are also vying for honours and by this time City will reach a top-five clinching 46-points mark.

And beyond that, with eight games to spare and 24 points to play for… anything is possible.