Sundowns’ Invincibles Bid

Mamelodi Sundowns have been all-conquering in the South African top flight for almost a decade.

However, not content with the manner in which they won their previous six league victories, the Brazilians strolled to a seventh successive top-flight title this season with a mammoth six games to spare, and all without losing a single match.

With just one game of their season to play, Downs’ current record reads: Played 29, won 22, drawn seven and lost zero.

Only a small number of clubs around the world can claim the ‘Invincibles’ tag, and Sundowns will add their name to that illustrious list if they manage to avoid defeat to Cape Town City on Saturday.

The Brazilians haven’t been without their losses this campaign though. Rulani Mokwena’s side lifted the inaugural African Football League trophy, with a 3-2 aggregate win over Wydad AC, but were unsuccessful in their bid to add a second CAF Champions League star to their badge. Downs bowed out to a very good Esperance side over two legs in the CAF semi-finals.

They also exited the Carling Knockout Cup in the first round to TS Galaxy, and were losing finalists to Orlando Pirates in the MTN8 final.

Ending their league season unbeaten will go some way to making up for those disappointments, while they will be able to exact some revenge on the Buccaneers with victory in the Nedbank Cup final; to be staged at the Mbombela Stadium on June 1st.

The Race for Second

Stellenbosch and Orlando Pirates are locked in an epic race for Champions League football, heading into their final game of the season.

Under head coach Steve Barker, the Cape Winelands club have stepped up incredibly this term, winning their first-ever top-flight trophy by seeing off TS Galaxy to lift the Carling Knockout Cup.

Even more impressive, though, was their unbeaten league run of 26 matches that only ended a week ago with a shock 2-0 away loss to Moroka Swallows.

Stellies followed that result up with a narrow 1-0 defeat to Sundowns, but remain in pole position for second place, with just Richards Bay to play.

Pirates, who have also displayed some fantastic attacking football this season, had the chance to overtake Barker’s side in recent weeks, but were somehow beaten 1-0 by the Natal Rich Boyz before going on to lose 1-0 to TS Galaxy – to remain one point adrift of Stellies.

Jose Riveiro’s charges take on SuperSport United at home to complete their season.

It would be a first taste of continental football for Stellenbosch, while Pirates, who ended in second place last season, will be eager to make up for a disappointing run in the Champions League where they only made it as far as the second round of qualifiers.

Battle for Top-Flight Survival

The race for DStv Premiership survival is going down to the final day of the season.

With Cape Town Spurs’ fate already sealed, the common consensus is that Richards Bay will finish second from the bottom and head into the relegation/promotion play-offs against the second and third-best-placed Motsepe Foundation Championship teams.

The Natal Rich Boyz have spent most of their season in their current position of 15th place and face Stellenbosch in their final game.

But despite an extremely disappointing campaign, they somehow find themselves just three points adrift of a freefalling Royal AM side, who end their campaign away to Swallows.

The Dube Birds, in 13th place, only just secured their top-flight status and heads into their final game two clear of the drop zone.

Even if Royal AM win their final game, they could still be dragged into the playoffs as Richards Bay has a better goal difference.

Kaizer Chiefs’ Battle for a Top-Eight Place

Kaizer Chiefs’ struggles in recent years have been well documented. The Soweto giants have not won a trophy in nine years, and last tasted success in the 2014/15 campaign when they claimed the league title.

A number of managers have come and gone since then without making an impact, and current interim head coach and stop-gap Cavin Johnson is set to be replaced next season.

He will hope that his last act will salvage some pride for the club by securing top-eight football.

They head into their final league game against Cape Town Spurs in eighth place with 36 points but within catching distance of the four teams below them.

AmaZulu and Polokwane City both have 36 points, while Golden Arrows have 35 points, and Chippa United are on 34, meaning Chiefs could potentially finish as low as 12th if the wheels completely fall off.

Amakhosi fans will be expecting much more from their team come the final day of the season, however.

Chippa United Coaches Fight for Their Lives

Chippa United boss Siviwe Mpengesi is not known for his patience when his team is losing.

A plethora of coaches have come and gone over the years and current co-coaches Kwanele Kopo and Thabo September must surely be living on borrowed time.

The duo were brought in to replace Morgan Mammila in January and got their tenure off to a good start with some important victories, alongside a run to the semi-finals of the Nedbank Cup, where they, unfortunately, went down to finalists Orlando Pirates.

Some are surprised to still see the duo in a job, with the Chilli Boys having slipped to 12th on the standings, and having flirted with relegation over the final few weeks.

Even the reward of keeping their team in the South African top-flight might not be enough for Kopo and September, but a victory over Sekhukhune United would certainly aid their cause – especially if other results go their way and they manage to sneak into next season’s MTN8.