Where will the Absa Premiership end up?


We’re approaching the most pivotal week in the Absa Premiership as the four teams still in with a chance all lock horns in the biggest double header we’ve seen in a long time in top-flight football.



Tuesday night, Loftus Versfeld will draw back its curtains as Absa Premiership champions, Mamelodi Sundowns, welcome Josef Zinnbauer’s Orlando Pirates to Pretoria as Masandawana chase a third successive league title.

The clash between these two sides, over the past couple of years, is known by many to be considered as the game of the season, arguably surpassing the Soweto Derby – until this season, of course.

Orlando Pirates have had some recent success over Sundowns, enduring a four-game unbeaten run over Pitso Mosimane’s side, winning twice in that time, including that 1-0 win earlier this campaign in Zinnbauer’s early days as a Buccaneer.

Since the German tactician took over, Pirates have been on a superb run of form, losing just once in the league, claiming eight victories in 12 matches. Pirates have done well this term, but will need a massive miracle if they are to win the league this season.




With a quarter of the campaign still left to play, this is usually the time that Sundowns flex their muscles. They’re out of the CAF Champions League, and will make the league their number one priority again – which should be a huge cause for concern for their rivals.

Mosimane’s side are used to the pressure that comes with fighting for the league in its crucial stages, and that has never been more evident than last season, where Sundowns ended their title defence off by winning the last five games to pip Orlando Pirates to the league.

Masandawana have the character, the know-how, the coach and the personnel to push them over the line – however, for now, it remains out of their hands to win the title.

After playing the second leg of the CAF Champions League against Al Ahly, Sundowns had a league tie against Stellenbosch, and a quarter-final tie in Tembisa against Highlands Park before they play Pirates, who had 10 days to rest and work on new tactics.

Even in their goalless draws, this fixture has always produced fireworks. Tuesday night should be no different.

Pirates face a huge conundrum ahead of this tie, they can do their best to beat Mamelodi Sundowns and push closer to those CAF Champions League spots, which will see their rivals, Kaizer Chiefs, edge closer to the league title, or, they could roll over in a professional manner and give the game to Sundowns – without making it too obvious.

My personal opinion on this tie would be a draw. Pirates are well-rested, have the quality to match Sundowns, and, have a decent head-to-head record over the champions.

What does that mean for the league title then?

Well, on Wednesday night, dark horses for the league, Bidvest Wits, make the trip to FNB Stadium to face the log-leaders, Kaizer Chiefs. In many ways, Ernst Middendorp has done “a Gavin Hunt” this season.

With the players he has at his disposal, Chiefs shouldn’t even be discussing the league title, let alone be on top of it with eight games to play. They’ve done extremely well to brush aside most of their opponents this term, being the top scoring team in the division by a huge margin.

That goes to show that Middendorp needs to be given the credit he deserves. The league is Kaizer Chiefs’ to win, which also means that its theirs to lose as well. There’s just something about the FNB Stadium that hasn’t worked for them as Middendorp has seen his side lose the last two games his side have played at Johannesburg’s iconic ground.

Bidvest Wits’ chances of winning the league may be slim after they failed to make their games in hand count, but one thing, as much as it may be lost for them, Hunt certainly knows how to spoil the party.


Wits are yet to play Chiefs this season, and if Sundowns are to win the league and overtake Amakhosi, much of their chances rely in Wits’ hands.

That leaves it all to do for Kaizer Chiefs, who could still reach a total of 72 points, should they win all of their remaining league fixtures.As far as this game goes though, former Student, Reeve Frosler, will serve his suspension, while Chiefs’ unsung hero, Willard Katsande, has been ruled out due to injury. Without him, the Glamour Boys are just not the same.

It may seem like I’m taking the easy way out and that I’m avoiding putting my neck on the line, but I can see another stalemate in midweek between Chiefs and Wits.

Mamelodi Sundowns’ remaining fixtures
Sundowns vs Orlando Pirates
Highlands Park vs Sundowns
Maritzburg United vs Sundowns
Cape Town City vs Sundowns
Sundowns vs Golden Arrows
Kaizer Chiefs vs Sundowns
Sundowns vs Baroka FC
Polokwane City vs Sundowns
Sundowns vs Black Leopards

Kaizer Chiefs’ remaining fixtures
Kaizer Chiefs vs Bidvest Wits
Polokwane City vs Kaizer Chiefs
Bloem Celtic vs Kaizer Chiefs
Kaizer Chiefs vs Stellenbosch
Kaizer Chiefs vs Sundowns
Bidvest Wits vs Kaizer Chiefs
Kaizer Chiefs vs Chippa United
Baroka FC vs Kaizer Chiefs

Absa Premiership Outright Odds – courtesy of Hollywoodbets
Kaizer Chiefs – 7/20
Mamelodi Sundowns – 9/4
Orlando Pirates – 18/1
Bidvest Wits – 66/1

“Let the league go where it is supposed to go,” – Pitso Mosimane


I suppose the question has still been unanswered until now? Where will the Absa Premiership title go?

Well, it is certainly going down to the wire, but looking at both teams’ run of games, what they’ve done throughout the course of the season and the current amount of points they have, I would lean towards Kaizer Chiefs ending their trophy drought.

Mosimane and Sundowns have all the experience, while Middendorp has never won a league title, but this time around, I’m going against what history says.

Written by Jesse Nagel