ABSA Premiership

Kaizer Chiefs vs Mamelodi Sundowns | Saturday 27 January | FNB Stadium | 20:15

Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns battle it out at the FNB Stadium this Saturday in what should be a mouth-watering affair. Two giants of South Africa who boast some of the best players in their respective squads. Amakhosi and Masandawana have used the transfer market well and by now, the new players will be well-suited to their new homes, meaning there will be no excuses this Saturday – at least we hope. Steve Komphela has beaten Pitso Mosimane the last two times they have met, both by 2-1 scorelines. This will be the perfect time for ‘Jingles’ to end that run, unless Amakhosi upset the applecart once again and claim three successive victories over Sundowns.

To win
Kaizer Chiefs 15/10
Draw 2/1
Mamelodi Sundowns 19/10

Kaizer Chiefs

Kaizer Chiefs moved up to third spot in the ABSA Premiership standings after their emphatic 2-1 win away to Baroka FC. That was the club’s first victory over Bakgaga and it took one of Bobby Motaung’s new additions to give them that win.

Leonardo Castro introduced himself to his new supporters off the bench, thumping in a loose ball to give Chiefs the win. In that match, Joseph Molangoane was given his marching orders and will miss the match against Sundowns.

Luckily, former Masandawana right-back, Ramahlwe Mphahlele, will walk back into the side – a back-up option that any team would die for in the PSL.

Chiefs are five points behind their opponents, and have been in superb form since the back end of last year. They’re unbeaten in five matches, winning four times. Steve Komphela may not be the most adored man in Naturena, but he has found a winning formula for his side, plus the backing of ‘Bobsteak’.

Young defender, Siyabonga Ngezana, will likely come back into the team after having a break last weekend. ‘Magwegwe’ will have fond memories of playing against Sundowns, a team he made his debut against and popped up with a header to seal a dream start to his Amakhosi career.

In the middle of the park, Siphelele Ntshangase will be given license to roam, playing alongside Zimbabwean star, Willard Katsande.

Speaking to the media after Chiefs’ 2-1 win over Baroka, Katsande was optimistic that they’ve got the character to challenge for the title.

“I think this might be the turning point also after coming back from a goal down in two consecutive matches it means this is a championship mentality and performance,” said the midfielder.

“The kids that we have now are exciting, they have purpose. Us as senior players we’re trying to guide them and make them taste how it feels to win something with a big team like Kaizer Chiefs,” Katsande concluded.

If they can keep up these sort of performances, then becoming champions seems like a realistic target again.

Mamelodi Sundowns

Mamelodi Sundowns maintained their four point lead at the top of the ABSA Premiership standings after brushing Platinum Stars aside in their 3-0 win. Khama Billiat was the star of the show as he scored two free-kicks to take his overall goal tally to 43 in yellow and green colours.

On Twitter, Sundowns’ official account posted a tweet after the game that read: “Defenders around the league… consider yesterday [Saturday] your first warning!” In the same post, the picture was of new signings, Aubrey Ngoma, Jeremy Brockie and Gaston Sirino, in what was clearly a plot to scare rival fans across the country.

The abovementioned trio didn’t start the match against Dikwena last weekend, but all came on as second half substitutes, earning their debuts for Bafana Ba Style. It just shows the strength in depth that the PSL leaders have. Apart from Ngoma, Brockie and Sirino, Sundowns had club-captain, Hlompho Kekana, on the bench as well.

Pitso Mosimane’s men may not have the form to be considered as champions, losing three of their last five games. However, with the players they have, Sundowns are almost guaranteed to find some form again.

From goalkeeper to striker, to manager as well, they’re second best to none. It’s always a risk to back against Sundowns, which explains why Masandawana players are always nominated for CAF awards, year after year. Percy Tau, who is one of the most sought-after players in the country, will be hoping to form a new trio with Ngoma and Brockie, looking to emulate the once-dynamite force of ‘CBD’.

Jingles knows what it takes to beat Chiefs, but in the last two meetings, he’s fallen to defeat. Mosimane explained that they need to play clever when they come up against the Soweto giants this weekend.

“We need to be smart against Chiefs,” he said.

“Not be all over the place. We know how they play,”

“We must also avoid playing into their hands because we are playing away and somebody must attack,” Mosimane concluded.

Polokwane City are the only team to have completed the double over Sundowns this season, and you get the feeling that Mosimane will do everything in his might to ensure that his side don’t go through the same feat again.

Probable line-ups:

Kaizer Chiefs: 3-4-3
Khune; Cardoso, Ngezana, Hadebe; Mphahlele, Katsande, Ntshangase, Zulu; Tshabalala, Moon, Castro.

Mamelodi Sundowns: 4-2-3-1
Onyango; Madisha, Soumahoro, Nascimento, Langerman; Kekana, Manyisa; T. Zwane, Tau, Ngoma; Brockie

Prediction: Mamelodi Sundowns (19/10)
I mentioned earlier that it would be very risky to back against Mamelodi Sundowns, and I’m definitely not ready to be brave enough this weekend. Their 3-0 win against Platinum Stars was just a taste of what they’re capable of. With Brockie, Ngoma, Tau and Themba Zwane in their ranks, I don’t see Chiefs pulling off a double over Sundowns. To convince you even further, Amakhosi have won just two of their eight home matches, while Masandawana have claimed seven wins in nine matches on the road.

Jesse Nagel

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