Johannesburg – Christmas is fast approaching, Santa is preening his fluffy white beard, the reindeer are on high alert, core-focused Pilates training and one cosmic piece of clarity is staring us in the face – when it comes to picking the winner of the Absa Premiership, there can be no clarity whatsoever.
Five points currently separate the top six sides in the league, not to mention the extra-weirdness this season of the Orlando Pirates conundrum.
The Buccaneer’s are throwing a serious spanner in the works of any mathematician’s assessment of the table, because their exploits in Africa have left them with at least six games in hand on all the other clubs in the league.
Win all those and Pirates have a four-point lead at the top of the table. At the moment they are second-bottom. Go figure. A pertinent question is how Pirates are going to cram those fixtures in during the early part of 2014? What happens if the Premier Soccer League agree to suspend all games that take place during CHAN?
Will the season actually be over before next Christmas? Jokes aside, even if you take Pirates out of the equation, for now, predicting a winner is nigh on impossible.
Mamelodi Sundowns are top as we speak, but have a horrific record of collapsing in the New Year. Exactly how such an expensively-assembled squad has not won a title since 2006/7 is really one of the modern South African footballing mysteries.
Kaizer Chiefs will be top at Christmas if they have a successful double date in Durban this week, but thus far, Stuart Baxter’s side have been a pale shadow of the 2012/13 champions.
And how will a Champions League campaign impact on their domestic form next year?
Gavin Hunt has Bidvest Wits well-positioned, just two points off the current pace. Wits have the best defensive record in the league (discounting the under-played Pirates), which is just as well because their attack has mustered just 12 goals in 12 games thus far. Surely they need some artillery in the New Year is they are to challenge?
AmaZulu, in fourth, have had a surprisingly superb campaign, but have played two games more than the sides above them, and have to sort out a leaky defence.
Much was expected of SuperSport United under Cavin Johnson, but thus far, a strong squad hasn’t quite delivered to its potential.
Platinum Stars, with their cup double, are the team of the season so far, and were runners-up to Chiefs last season, but need to show a little more consistency in the league this campaign.
So who will triumph? I have no clue, and I am not about to guess now. But the unpredictability should certainly make for an exciting season.