fast little loans
Johannesburg – Kaizer Chiefs fans eagerly anticipating your club’s first championship triumph in eight years beware, your archrivals, Orlando Pirates, might just pull the rug from under your feet.
The result of Saturday afternoon’s Soweto derby and current form notwithstanding, past records suggest the Buccaneers have a much easier run-in than Amakhosi.
The league leaders’ remaining eight matches after the FNB Stadium clash is littered with banana skins that might just swing the title race in favour of Roger de Sa’s team.
Granted, Stuart Baxter has got this Chiefs side playing at a different level from the rest of their Premiership. And yes, statistics are nothing more than numbers on a piece of paper with very little influence on match outcomes.
But trips to Bloemfontein Celtic, Golden Arrows and a Moroka Swallows side that seems to specialise lately in beating the big guns will be true tests for Chiefs’ championship credentials. Win those and the title will no doubt go to Naturena.
Clinton Larsen and his boys held Chiefs goalless in the first round, having also mastered the same result in last season’s home match. In the second round last season Abafana Besithende held Amakhosi goalless.
Different times, different coaches and different mentalities, I hear the Chiefs fans say. But these types of statistics have an uncanny way of working on teams’ minds.
If Chiefs’ away matches – bar the trips to University of Pretoria and Ajax Cape Town which should yield easy maximum points – appear daunting, the home ones are not cut-and-dried affairs.
Particularly tough will be the clash with league title dark horses Platinum Stars who brought about that 2-0 defeat they suffered.
Cavin Johnson’s men are not out of the race yet and will fight to complete a rare double over Amakhosi.
Maritzburg United will be first to visit Chiefs and with Ernst Middendorp having led the Team of Choice to a 1-0 victory over the team he once coached during the second round of last season, this too is bound to be a toughie.
The same rings true for the encounter with SuperSport United, against whom they lost the corresponding fixture last season.
What of the Buccaneers then? Are their remaining nine matches after tomorrow the equivalent of a Sunday morning stroll in the park?
Not by any stretch of the imagination, particularly given how pathetic the defending champions have been lately.
But they surely have it much easier than Chiefs with all of AmaTuks, Black Leopards, Chippa United and even Maritzburg United sure to leave maximum points at Orlando Stadium.
How do you justify Pirates beating a Maritzburg side that will give Chiefs trouble, I hear you ask?
Well, for starters the Bucs won the first-round encounter and they were also victorious in the corresponding fixture last season. They will prove too good and too strong.
Mamelodi Sundowns are perhaps the one team that can prove tough for Pirates at Orlando Stadium, but with not much to play for in the league, the Brazilians will probably have the Nedbank Cup in mind by the time they make the trip to South African football’s spiritual home.
On the road, both AmaZulu and Free State Stars look like they’ll be the equivalent of cannon fodder for a Pirates side that would have exorcised the ghosts of Maluti and Swallows after the derby which I anticipate to end in a stalemate tomorrow.
Here’s how it will be – Chiefs will finish on 60 points and Pirates will take advantage of the extra game in hand to emulate Pretoria side Sundowns and SuperSport by winning a third successive league title with 62 points. – The Star