Mamelodi Sundowns vs Kaizer Chiefs Preview

Mamelodi Sundowns vs Kaizer Chiefs Preview
Table-toppers Kaizer Chiefs face a severe test of their title credentials as they take on reigning ABSA Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Sunday. 

Pitso Mosimane's charges remain unbeaten in the league from six games. However, Amakhosi are five points ahead of the Brazilians – could be cut to two if Sundowns beat Highlands Park in midweek – having played two games more.

Masandawana will look to put their title rivals to the sword as they aim to defend their ABSA Premiership title. Meanwhile, Ernst Middendorp’s men will know a win here will put them in a strong position of claiming their first league title since the 2014/15 campaign. 

Who will come out on top? Will they share the spoils? Let's find out what's worth backing in this mouth-watering contest. 

*Please note that this article was written prior to Sundowns’ ABSA Premiership fixture against Highlands Park on 23 October.  

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ABSA Premiership
Mamelodi Sundowns vs Kaizer Chiefs    
Sunday 27 October 
Loftus Versfeld Stadium 
15:30


To Win 
Sundowns 15/20
Draw 9/4
Chiefs 4/1

Mamelodi Sundowns

Mamelodi Sundowns will hope to stop Chiefs in their tracks and secure a vital three points on Sunday. Mosimane's side, who are aiming to win the league for a third successive season, currently trail Amakhosi by five points. Should they manage to beat Highlands Park on 23 October, a win here will see them leapfrog their opponents into first place.

The defending champions will also be out to avenge their humiliating 4-2 defeat against Chiefs in the Shell Helix Cup earlier this month. Mosimane paid the price for making wholesale changes from his regular line-up as Leonardo Castro and Khama Billiat came back to haunt their former side, with Castro grabbing a hat-trick. 

As I mentioned before, Jingles did make wholesale changes in that game. However, Masandawana started with some big, experienced players who would walk into most ABSA Premiership teams. The likes of Lyle Lakay, Wayne Arendse, Rivaldo Coetzee, Andile Jali, Oupa Manyisa, Aubrey Ngoma and Tokelo Rantie all started. 

Mosimane's charges will be desperate to wreak revenge on Chiefs, while aiming to defend their ABSA Premiership title. The Brazilians got the better of Amakhosi in their last league meeting, winning 2-1 at the FNB Stadium last season, courtesy of goals from Anthony Laffor and Lebohang Maboe. 

Sundowns remain unbeaten in the league (at the time of writing) from six matches played with four wins and two draws. Mosimane's side have won their last three ABSA Premiership matches, all by 2-1 scorelines. They recorded back-to-back away wins over Bloemfontein Celtic and Black Leopards, in between beating Maritzburg United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium thanks to Lakay's last-gasp injury-time winner.

Downs fancy their chances of winning every time they step onto the field, and after thrashing AmaZulu 5-0 in the Telkom Knockout Cup last weekend, Mosimane will be confident his star players Themba Zwane and Gaston Sirino, who ran riot against the Durban-based club, will put on another fine display to secure maximum points. 

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Kaizer Chiefs

Kaizer Chiefs will face a real acid test of their title credentials on Sunday and Middendorp will be hoping his side can maintain their position at the summit of the log. Avoiding defeat will be key for the Glamour Boys, but they’ll really want to win this game. A win will boost their title aspirations, while Middendorp will also take great delight from handing Pitso his first defeat after 'Jingles' claimed that referees favour Chiefs earlier this month.

Amakhosi know they’ll be in for a difficult match, but they’ve done well in their last two trips to Loftus Versfeld. Last season, a Giovanni Solinas side managed to earn a 1-1 draw there and in the previous campaign, Steve Komphela guided Chiefs to a memorable 2-1 victory. Middendorp’s men will surely fancy their chances of a vital victory in Tshwane.

Like Sundowns, Chiefs are targeting a fourth straight win in the ABSA Premiership. They won 2-0 at AmaZulu and claimed back-to-back victories at home to Baroka (1-0) and Golden Arrows (2-0), while the defensive wall of Yagan Sasman, Daniel Cardoso and Eric Mathoho were rock solid in those games, keeping three straight clean sheets. 

The Glamour Boys have netted 12 goals from eight games – only Cape Town City have scored more (13). Lebogang Manyama is Amakhosi’s leading scorer in the league with three goals to his name, while Mathoho, Cardoso, Castro, Billiat, and new boys Samir Nurkovic and Kearyn Baccus have all chipped in. 

Middendorp will be sweating on the fitness of Baccus and Bernard Parker as both players were stretchered off in last weekend’s 4-2 penalty shootout victory over Cape Town City in the Telkom Knockout Cup. Both players have been key to Chiefs’ impressive start to the campaign and the German tactician will be hoping the pair can play some part in the match. 

Probable line-ups:

Sundowns: 4-4-2

Onyango; Ngcongca, Madisha, Lebusa, Langerman; Morena, Kekana, Jali, Zwane; Meza, Sirino.

Kaizer Chiefs: 3-4-3
Akpeyi; Sasman, Mathoho, Cardoso; Frosler, Katsande, Maluleka, Parker; Billiat, Nurkovic, Manyama. 

Prediction: Double Chance and Both Teams to Score – Draw-Away/Yes (28/10)

It’s clear this matchup has all the makings of a thriller. Both teams are in fine form, riding three-match winning streaks. Sundowns though haven’t kept a clean sheet in each of their last five ABSA Premiership matches and this is the best Chiefs have looked in a long time. When Amakhosi beat Sundowns in the Shell Helix Cup, there was more talk about Pitso’s wholesale changes he made rather than giving Middendorp the credit he deserved. The German tactician will want to show his side mean business this season. I’m backing Chiefs on the Win/Draw Double Chance and Both Teams to Score at 28/10. 

Written by Chad N

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