A potential Absa Premiership title decider sees Kaizer Chiefs who are looking to win their first silverware in five years take on defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns on Thursday.
Games don’t get any bigger than this in the PSL with this clash coming in a most crucial stage of the season as the top two clubs battle to secure the title.
Amakhosi trophy drought ending?
Chiefs have come under immense pressure since the resumption of football with one of the major factors the direct style of play which goes against the deep-rooted traditions of the most successful club in Mzansi.
The tactical set-up under the pragmatic German Ernst Middendorp has also got the fans questioning his future despite their place at the summit of the table.
Amakhosi have managed to secure five points from a possible 12 since the resumption of the league within the Gauteng-based bio-bubble.
The suspension of football seems to have affected the rhythm of the Soweto giants, while it’s widely been reported that Middendorp will be axed irrespective of the chance of winning the league for the first time since 2015.
The dependency of set-pieces this season and direct football utilising target men Samir Nurkovic and Leonardo Castro has seen dramatic declines in the form of fan favourites Siphelele Ntshangase, Khama Billiat and Zambia striker Lazarus Kambole deteriorate to a point where they are barely recognizable.
However, it’s important to note that Chiefs may be forced to change their style of play against Sundowns with their top goal scorer Nurkovic serving suspension offer receiving the fourth yellow card while Castro is doubtful through injury.
With three points separating the two sides Chiefs do however hold an advantage of goal difference at this stage.
Pitso chasing a record-breaking feat
Sundowns look to be slowly regaining their rhythm after a slow inconsistent showings.
Mosandawana is in their search for “La Decima” (10th) league crown and looks to have found their feet after securing three points against a plucky Golden Arrows outfit earlier this week.
The Tshwane giants found a later winner though star playmaker Themba Zwane to keep the title race alive.
Mosimane once indicated that his side is more than capable of winning five games in a row and the pressure might mount with just three games remaining after the clash against Chiefs.
The Brazilians will have to do without defender Ricardo Nascimento who’s serving a suspension while former Oostende midfield general Andile Jali is set to return to action.
The return of Jali will surely give Mosimane a headache with Hlompho Kekana and Rivaldo Coetzee coming off the back of superb performances against Arrows on Monday.
Sundowns have all the quality and tools to push Chiefs until the final whistle and after securing four points into their last two games will move into the clash high in confidence.
Potential line ups:
Kaizer Chiefs: 3-5-2
Akpeyi; Mathoho, Cardoso, Sassman; Moleko, Katsande, Ntshangase, Parker; Frosler; Kambole, Billiat.
Mamelodi Sundowns: 4-2-2-2
Mweene; Ngcongca, Madisha,Lebusa, Lakay, Langerman; Kekana, Coetzee; Zwane, Mkhulise; Sorino, Vilakazi.