FEATURE: The big games in the return of the PSL this month

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While every PSL fixture can be looked forward to with great enthusiasm in February, Goal takes a look at the four games that stand out

The 2016/17 Premier Soccer League (PSL) campaign is set to resume following a mid-season break and we have some pretty big matches in February.

Mamelodi Sundowns v Orlando Pirates - 11th February

The first blockbuster match of the year will feature Sundowns and Pirates at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium.  The Brazilians, who are the defending PSL champions, are looking to make up lost ground in the race for this season's title.

The Brazilians are six points behind the log leaders SuperSport United, but the former have five games in hand. Sundowns will face a Pirates side that has lost their last two league matches.

Bucs have had enough time to recharge their batteries during the mid-season break, while Sundowns got some well-deserved rest following their exploits in Japan, Africa as well as domestic football.

Ajax Cape Town v Cape Town City - 11th February

The bragging rights will be on the line when Ajax and City lock horns in a brewing Mother City derby which started prior to the current season following the establishment of the latter.

City club chairman John Comitis, who is a former Ajax club chairman, is most likely to galvanise Eric Tinkler's charges, so that they can complete a league double over the Urban Warriors at the Cape Town Stadium.

However, the Citizens, who have undoubtedly been the surprise package of the season, will face a rejuvenated Urban Warriors side which finished 2016 with two consecutive league wins.

Orlando Pirates v Bidvest Wits - 15th February

Wits have dominated this fixture in recent years. The Clever Boys have recorded four consecutive wins against the Buccaneers in all major competitions ahead their clash at the Orlando Stadium.

Gavin Hunt, the Wits head coach, has already masterminded a victory over Pirates in the MTN8 Cup this season and his side will have the edge over the Buccaneers, who last defeated the Clever Boys in 2014.

Pirates caretaker coach Augusto Palacios may not be around when the team faces Wits as the Soweto giants are edging closer to appointing a permanent head coach, who will be expected to hit the ground running.

Mamelodi Sundowns v Bidvest Wits - 25th February

The fixture between Sundowns and Wits has grown bigger in recent times as the latter have established themselves as one of the perennial PSL title challengers under accomplished coach Hunt.

The Brazilians will be seeking revenge after suffering a surprise 3-0 defeat to the Clever Boys in the 2016 MTN8 Cup final prior to the former's Caf Champions League triumph.

Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane will renew his rivalry with Hunt at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium. The two coaches have met 20 times since 2002 with Hunt dominating their matches - having won nine, lost five with the other six ending in draws.

Two crucial matches could define Pirates' title chase

Pirates will be involved in two of the biggest PSL matches in February. The Soweto giants are winless in their last four league matches which sees them placed outside the top eight on position 10.

Defeats to Sundowns and Wits could see Bucs being forced to reassess their PSL title hopes, while victories would certainly see them stay within touching distance of the leaders in the race for the title.