The Premier League championship is heading for the home straight and, although Bidvest Wits look good enough to snatch the elusive holy grail, coach Gavin Hunt deflects such talk and tips defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns to prevail.
“In spite of experiencing their current slump, Sundowns have enough quality to retain the league championship,” said Hunt after guiding the Students back to the top of the table with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Lamontville Golden Arrows to send a strong statement that they could well end their title drought.
Sundowns seem to be wobbling, no matter how much coach Pitso Mosimane tries to shuffle the team.
“You have been in this game long enough to know that these things are common in football, hey,” he said. Either way, it must be frustrating for a man who could do no wrong a few months ago but has gone nearly six games without a victory.
“We do everything but score. But we cannot give up or throw our hands in the air in despair. We’ve got to keep plugging away and hopefully things will change,” he said. Despite having lost eight senior players to injuries, he refuses to blame their absence for the team’s recent slump.
The “Brazilians” are away to an equally inconsistent Free State Stars on Sunday and Mosimane must be dreading the thought of visiting a team that put Orlando Pirates to the sword in a 3-2 victory last week.
Coach Serame Letsoaka has instilled an adventurous spirit and dollops of confidence in Stars, who have a knack for upping their game against Sundowns.
“We tend to lose concentration at crucial moments of the game, particularly in defence, and end up giving away soft goals,” moaned Letsoaka. “I do not have problems with our attacking play. It is our defending which concerns me … and against a quality team like Sundowns you could be punished.”
Pirates finally ended their 12-game winless streak in the league when they nailed Maritzburg United 2-0. Coach Kjell Jonevret must have breathed a sigh of relief as the Sea Robbers finally won three points after three stalemates and a defeat since he assumed power.
Kaizer Chiefs could reduce Wits’s four-point lead should they get the better of Dan Malesela’s Chippa United. Chiefs have a better than average chance against a Chilli Boys side that has not looked anything near the awe-inspiring team from last season. Chippa have not been their dominant selves lately and have lost even where most have tipped them for triumph.
Pirates need to show they have overcome their slump when they visit relegation-threatened Highlands Park on Saturday.
• Golden Arrows vs Ajax Cape Town
• Kaizer Chiefs vs Chippa United
• Highlands Park vs Orlando Pirates
• Free State Stars vs Mamelodi Sundowns