Nah, I don’t buy that Yes there will be twists, but not enough to bring SuperSport back into contention.
It leaves us with Cape Town City, Wits, Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns. One of these four will be crowned champions come the end of the season. The race is so tight not even Nostradamus could probably predict the eventual winner. So let’s have a look at the four contenders:
CAPE TOWN CITY - 24 games, 46 points
Games remaining: Chiefs (home), Maritzburg (away), Free State Stars (* ), SuperSport (a), Golden Arrows (* ) and Polokwane City (a)
What are the chances: Probably about 75%. In City’s favour is their remarkable team spirit and, even more importantly, their stubborn refusal to give up. This is a team that just never knows when it is beat. They fight, they battle, they never leave anything on the pitch. Couple that with the freshness and freedom of City’s attacking play, and they’re a team the opposition writes off at its own peril.
WITS - 22 games, 45 points
Games remaining: SuperSport (* ), Highlands Park (a), Sundowns (* ), Orlando Pirates (* ), Maritzburg (* ), Free State Stars (a), Polokwane City (* ) and Chiefs (a)
What are the chances: Probably around 80%. The thing about Wits is their supreme defensive organisation. Because of this, they are extremely difficult to beat. At this stage of the season, it’s a team characteristic that could prove crucial during the final run-in. With time and games running out, it’s not so much creativity and slick ball possession that wins the league title, it’s the ability to grind out results. And Wits do it very well
KAIZER CHIEFS - 24 games, 45 points
Games remaining: City (a), SuperSport (a), Golden Arrows (* ), Polokwane City (a), Platinum Stars (a) and Wits (* )
What are the chances: Probably around 80%. The form team at the moment, Chiefs are peaking at just the right time. Solid in defence, smooth in attack, especially now with the addition of Venezuelan striker Gustavo Paez, Chiefs have quietly and efficiently gone about their business. While everybody was focusing on City, Wits, Sundowns and SuperSport, they just kept on winning, kept on picking up points. And, now, they’re in a great position to go all the way. One thing’s certain: Next week’s clash with City at the Cape Town Stadium is critical for both clubs.
MAMELODI SUNDOWNS - 22 games, 44 points
Games remaining: Ajax (* ), Golden Arrows (a), Wits (a), Platinum Stars (* ), Orlando Pirates (a), Baroka FC (* ), Maritzburg (* ) and Highlands Park (a)
What are the chances: Probably about 85%. Sundowns have got everything: They’ve got the players, they’ve got the depth and, as defending PSL champions, they’ve got the experience. In fact, as current African champions, they’re the best team on the continent. It would take a brave man to bet against the top-notch Pretoria club. Their recent dismantling of SuperSport (5-0 and 1-0) is a classic example of just how deadly they can be. Because of their endeavours on the continent, Sundowns have been playing catch-up all season - but not even the extra workload has been able to derail their title challenge.
With it being so close and tough to call, perhaps it’s just best to go with your gut. Like an old Chris de Burgh tune suggests, this is “the classical dilemma between the head and the heart”
The head says Wits, Chiefs and Sundowns just have too much quality in their squads. One of the three should reign supreme. But my heart says City’s sense of unity and courageous spirit will overcome.
The head says ambitious and highly-motivated Wits have assembled a quality team with the league title as the primary goal. They’ll stand tall during the tough times and anxious moments expected during the next few weeks. But my heart says City have done an astounding job in their debut season and they have the hunger and the passion to pull it off.
The head says Chiefs have the history and the pedigree to go all the way. Not only have they come good at the right time, but their squad’s also got the experience to hold its nerve during what is sure to be a nail-biting climax to the campaign. But my heart says City have the flair in individuals like Lebogang Manyama and Aubrey Ngoma to create something out of nothing - and this rare, X-factor quality is crucial to a team with designs on the championship.
The head says Sundowns, Sundowns Sundowns Need I say more? Their success over the last two seasons is there for all to see. But my heart says City, because I’m passionate about Cape football and nothing would make me happier than to see this new club come from nothing, and nowhere, and make what seemed the impossible, possible.
In that song mentioned earlier, De Burgh closes it out with: “And in this classical dilemma, I find for - the heart.”
I, too, find for my heart.