Tuesday Jan 19, 2021. 12:06
South Africa’s ‘Big Three’ of Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates will go in search of home victories in the headline fixtures on a midweek round of DStv Premiership action.
The log leaders and defending champions Sundowns will have the chance to open up a three-point lead over nearest chasers Swallows FC when they host Bloemfontein Celtic on Tuesday evening.
The Brazilians were held to a goalless stalemate by Tshwane rivals SuperSport United this past weekend and will be backing themselves to return to winning form as they continue their push for a fourth successive title.
‘Downs are unbeaten 11 games into the season, but co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi insists that avoiding any losses throughout the campaign is not something they are explicitly aiming for.
“To be honest [ending the season without a league defeat] isn’t what we’re looking for. We always focus on each game that comes our way,” said Mngqithi.
Tuesday also sees Kaizer Chiefs looking to rack up a hat-trick of wins and continue their resurgence. This time last week, the Soweto giants were just above the relegation zone, but back-to-back away wins over AmaZulu and Cape Town City have pushed them into the top half of the table. A first home of the season when they tackle strugglers Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila would confirm that Gavin Hunt’s side have truly ‘turned the corner’.
“Our home record has been a disaster this season, so we are back at FNB on Tuesday, and hopefully we can try to turn it around,” said the four-time league winner.
The other Soweto giant, Orlando Pirates, will be looking to bounce back in the pick of Wednesday’s games when they host unbeaten Golden Arrows.
The Buccaneers have endured a mini-slump of late, including a surprise 2-0 loss away to relegation candidates Black Leopards this past Sunday, and cannot afford another major slip if they are to keep on the fringes of the title race.
The midweek action also features a relegation six-pointer when Maritzburg United host TS Galaxy, while Swallows FC will be aiming to keep up their extraordinary return to the top flight when they host Chippa United.
DStv Premiership midweek fixtures
Tuesday 19 January
17:00: Mamelodi Sundowns v Bloemfontein Celtic
17:00: Kaizer Chiefs v Tshakhuma TM
Wednesday 20 January
17:00: Swallows FC v Chippa United
17:00: SuperSport United v AmaZulu
17:00: Orlando Pirates v Golden Arrows
17:00: Stellenbosch FC v Baroka FC
17:00: Maritzburg United v TS Galaxy
17:00: Black Leopards v Cape Town City