Chiefs, Downs match outcome will define both teams’ title chances
All eyes have been on the national team over the last week, but looming on Saturday is arguably the biggest game of the Premier Soccer League season so far. Kaizer Chiefs will host Mamelodi Sundowns at Soccer City‚ looking to maintain their title hopes with a victory.
A win for Chiefs and they will move five points clear of Sundowns and potentially level with current leaders Cape Town City.
But victory for Sundowns will see them leap-frog the Soweto giants with a onepoint advantage and a massive four games in hand.
Pitso Mosimane’s side‚ like Chiefs‚ have no Caf club commitments for the next six weeks, during which time they will play nine league – and potentially some Nedbank Cup – games and can give more focus to their league campaign without arduous travel.
That would make it near inconceivable they would give up such an advantage.
A win for the Brazilians would render their title equation a two-horse race between them and Bidvest Wits‚ with SuperSport United and Cape Town City drifting into the outsider category.
The return from injury of Khama Billiat is a significant boost to Mosimane‚ as is his side’s recent record against Chiefs‚ which has seen them dominant.
Chiefs have just a single victory over Sundowns in the last seven meetings between the sides‚ while the Brazilians have claimed victory in three of the last four games.
That includes a 2-1 win earlier this season when Tebogo Langerman and Sibusiso Vilakazi were on target‚ as well as the 2015 Telkom Knockout final.
Chiefs’ last success came almost two years ago when Bernard Parker scored in the fourth minute of injury time for a 1-0 victory as Amakhosi marched to the league title in Stuart Baxter’s final season in charge.
The clash with Chiefs is one of the key battles for Sundowns to the end of the season where victory would virtually assure them of the league title.
The others are Tshwane derbies with SuperSport United on April 12 and May 4‚ and an away meeting against Wits on May 1.