Mamelodi Sundowns braced for clashes against ‘Big Three’ rivals Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs

Lucas Ribeiro Costa of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates a goal with teammates during the 2023/24 CAF Champions League 1st leg match between Bumamuru and Mamelodi Sundowns in Azam Complex Stadium, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

After six rounds perennial champions, unbeaten Mamelodi Sundowns, with a seven-point lead, have turned the DStv Premiership into a one-horse race.. Seen here: Lucas Ribeiro Costa of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrates a goal with teammates. Picture: Loveness Bernard/BackpagePix

Published Sep 18, 2023


The PSL's DStv Premiership midweek action will throw up two plumb fixtures that will place the spotlight firmly on South Africa's most storied clubs, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

After six rounds perennial champions, unbeaten Mamelodi Sundowns, with a seven-point lead, have turned the Premiership into a one-horse race. However, when they cross paths with Chiefs or Pirates, fans countrywide will hope against hope that Sundowns will suffer a surprise defeat.

On Wednesday evening, Sundowns and Pirates will return to domestic action after CAF Champions League weekend assignments elsewhere in Africa. Sundowns returned from Tanzania, and Pirates from Botswana.

Pirates have made steady progress since the start of the season, and will prove formidable opponents on Wednesday in front of their fans at Orlando Stadium. After four Premiership matches, there has been a hint about the form of Pirates, and that they could be a team capable of defeating Sundowns.

MTN8 clash looming

Both teams will offer great thought about the composition of their teams because they will be up for MTN8 semi-final action a few days later.

While Orlando Stadium hosts this Premiership humdinger, the 'Pride of Soweto' Kaizer Chiefs will be in action, also against a Tshwane-based opponent SuperSport United, in Polokwane.

Of late, Chiefs’ form has been erratic and after back-to-back wins, they were held to a goalless draw by Royal AM on home soil, in a game they dominated with a 70% possession advantage.

SuperSport have also been away on CAF duty over the weekend, and their coach Gavin Hunt gave some of his second stringers an outing on Saturday evening in neighbouring Botswana.

The Tshwane visitors came away with the benefit of an away goal in their 1-1 stalemate and Hunt has promised to send out a "different" team for the Chiefs clash on Wednesday.

In another Wednesday match, hosts TS Galaxy will be looking to snap a two-match winless streak against Cape Town City who have fared even worse with three Premiership defeats on the trot.

The midweek action kicks on Tuesday with three matches, two of which will be played in the Mother City at venues some 50 kilometres apart.

Stellenbosch, who have played their last three Premiership matches without a win, will host Moroka Swallows at the Danie Craven Stadium, in the Winelands.

Stellenbosch looking to kick-start the game

After Saturday’s goalless draw against Arrows Stellenbosch coach Steve Barker said his side will be looking to take the game to the visiting Swallows.

“We have to get back to Cape Town where we have a short turnaround to Tuesday’s match against Swallows," said Barker. "Swallows have also had some good recent results, so they’re also a team that are looking good.

"At home, against Swallows, we have to be the ones who take the initiative and ensure that we win the match.”

Beleaguered Cape Town Spurs, the only team yet to win a Premiership this season will host high-flying Golden Arrows.

In Durban, Richards Bay who have just bagged their first win of the season, will entertain Chippa United at the King Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium.

IOL Sport