Soccer: The South African PSL

Orlando Pirates v Mamelodi Sundowns- Saturday 24th September – Orlando Stadium (21:15)

The South African PSL is in full throttle as teams start to get to grips with the robust nature of the league. All the teams have seemed to settle now and from here on out points are vital in determining their fate throughout the season. These two heavy weights will be looking to dent each other’s title pursuits.

Orlando Pirates have been in scintillating form, beating all those that have come their way. Confidence is high in their camp as they have already got their hands on two cups thus far beating their bitter rivals Kaizer Chiefs on 3 occasions. Pirates are well on their way to repeating their historic accomplishments as they are one short of capturing another treble season. However they were upended this weekend in the Soweto Derby as they went down 2-1 to Chiefs. It was a somewhat lack luster performance from Pirates as they never quite kicked into gear. Pirates currently sit in 6th place on the log having experienced their second defeat. Manager Julio Leal was disappointed after their weekend encounter as he felt his team lacked creativity and drive, something Pirates had not struggled with until then. On a more positive note, Pirates will welcome back Benni McCarthy after his suspension and he could prove pivotal for the retaining of their title. The Buccaneers have depth in abundance and if Julio Leal has a full squad to select from, he can field a formidable force throughout this campaign.

Mamelodi Sundowns started this season with a bang, winning their opening 3 encounters. They currently sit in 3rd spot on the log with the best goal difference in the league thus far. Their confidence took a bit of a dent this past weekend as they were outdone by the Urban Warriors 3-2. Sundowns took the lead through Lebohang Mokoena and looked like they were on their way to their fourth consecutive victory in the league. However Ajax had other ideas and snatched the victory in the dying minutes to hand Sundowns their first defeat thus far. The significance of this encounter saw the return of Clayton Daniels to his home town and boyhood club as he made the switch to The Brazilians at the close of the transfer window. It was an unfortunate debut for Daniels as he couldn’t prevent his new club from slipping to a demoralizing defeat. Manager Johan Neeskens had nothing but praise for his counterpart, complementing the Ajax manager for in storing trust in his youthful squad and tipped Ajax to do well this season. There is no doubting the ability of this Sundowns squad as they have all the ingredients to be crowned champions. The key is whether they can click as a unit and to reduce the number of goals conceded.

These two are in good form and will be looking to put this past week’s defeats behind them. Pirates won the last encounter between them and are tipped to outdo their title rivals once again.

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