Most teams, with the exception of Sundowns, have at least nine games to play to fulfill their seasonal quota
Kaizer Chiefs have risen to the edges of the rim of the Premier Soccer League for the first time in three years. But a four game victory gap between them (eight wins) and log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns (12 wins) means the Phefeni club are unlikely to lift the premier title.
It might be early to speculate what the likely standings of the clubs might be at the end of the current season seeing that most teams, with the exception of Sundowns, have at least nine games to play to fulfill their seasonal quota.
Kaizer Chiefs last stood at the pinnacle of our football in 2015 when they amassed 69 points to take what’s arguably the most coveted title on the continent. Then Sundowns trailed them with 57 points.
Of late Chiefs have played 21 games of which they won eight. That leaves them with nine matches yet to play before the curtain comes down on the season. Given that Chiefs are rather erratic in front of goal these days, having only discovered and deployed Ryan Moon to the spearpoint of their attack very late in the fixture calendar, the Naturena side, is by yours truly’s reckoning, unlikely to get this particular silverware on their mantelpiece.
Huh! Talk about tempting fate.
Given the present standings of all clubs, it looks as though this year we might also see Sundowns fall back to the low points era of pre-2015 when the log leaders captured the league title with less than 70 points.
Of course, Bidvest Wits took the title with a mere 60 points on the board last year.
At the moment should Sundowns win all 10 of their remaining matches they will end up with 68 points, a disappointing cutback to their best of 71 points, last achieved in 2016 when they took the cup.
Let me amuse you with some more football trivia from the current season: As things stand Sundowns are the only Pretoria/Tshwane-based team in the top eight, for now. The other; SuperSport United is way off the running at number 12 spot, where they are unlikely to rise to inside the top eight.
As things stand Eric Tinkler has run out of ideas of how to pump up SuperSports’ groove.
Then you have this funny situation not witnessed in the league in many moons. Teams that are not usually associated with cup majesty such as Free State Stars, Maritzburg United, Cape Town City (OK they are new, but you get the drift), Chippa United and Baroka FC are clogging the top eight spaces as we speak.
It is very likely that one of them may even end up at spot number two or three on the log providing that they play and win against the general tide. Of course, I’d like to emphasise that Sundowns will, again, be the champs this season.
Watch this space.
Just below this lot are more palookas aspiring to a top eight berth, look at Amazulu hovering on the fringes of the circle at position nine. Bidvest Wits and Bloem Celtic with respectively nine and 10 games in hand, are likely to catapult themselves to the top eight tier. But below them are complete no-hopers such as SuperSport United, Golden Arrows, Polokwane City and the basement dwellers Ajax Cape Town and Platinum Stars.
With all the mathematics done there are signs all over the place indicating that this year’s second half PSL offering will go down to the wire.
To make the grade the likes of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns have to consistently field young and fresh talent up front and put aside old, tired legs. Ryan Moon (Chiefs), Percy Tau (Sundowns) and Lyle Forster (Pirates) are the future.