Crunch game for Chiefs, ‘Downs look to continue their dominance

Crunch game for Chiefs, ‘Downs look to continue their dominance
Lebogang Manyama of Kaizer Chiefs

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Oct 01, 2021. 10:00

South Africa’s DStv Premiership will hold a full round of fixtures this weekend before going into recess for the international break, with heavyweights Kaizer Chiefs facing a crunch match and champions Mamelodi Sundowns looking to continue their dominance.

Chiefs are floundering in 13th place after winning just one of their opening five league fixtures, and will be in action on Saturday afternoon with a tough clash away to last season’s runners-up, AmaZulu.

“I think the struggle continues, I think they need to get to a point where they need to have balance in the team where they are more fluent both in attack and defence,” said former Chiefs coach Farouk Khan.

“I think there’s still a lot of permutations they need to work out, at the same time there’s not enough time because if you don’t hit the ground running and you don’t get early points, you are always going to be playing catch up.”

Saturday also features Orlando Pirates looking to bounce back from their first league defeat, suffered last weekend when they were outclassed 2-0 at home by Sundowns. The Buccaneers will be away to Cape Town City, who have also run into trouble in recent matches, including a 3-0 defeat at the hands of local rivals Stellenbosch FC in their last home league fixture.

Stellies, meanwhile, will be looking to keep up their outstanding start to the season when they face Baroka FC in Polokwane, SuperSport United will look to do the same in their clash away to Chippa United, and bottom-of-the-log TS Galaxy will be desperate to get the better of Sekhukhune United.

Sunday’s headline match sees Sundowns at home to a stuttering Swallows FC, with the Brazilians fresh from claiming a place in the MTN8 final and looking to continue their run of not conceding a single goal in league action thus far in 2021-22.

“We spoke a lot about anxiety, humility and focusing because it is very important for us not to be all over and try to make sure that we stick to our tactical agreement,” said Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi.

“Everything that we put from training we try to transfer it into the match, which I think they have done very well from the beginning of the season. Anxiety and desperation can always make you make a lot of mistakes. We are trying our best to have a team that is more focused and knowing that we want to give it our best.”

Sunday will also see Marumo Gallants looking for their first win with a match away to Golden Arrows and a KwaZulu-Natal derby between in-form Royal AM – who have won their last three matches in succession – and Maritzburg United.

DStv Premiership weekend fixtures

Times CAT

Saturday 2 October

15:30: AmaZulu v Kaizer Chiefs

15:30: TS Galaxy v Sekhukhune United

15:30: Chippa United v SuperSport United

17:00: Baroka FC v Stellenbosch FC

17:30: Cape Town City v Orlando Pirates

Sunday 3 October

15:30: Royal AM v Maritzburg United

15:30: Golden Arrows v Marumo Gallants

17:30: Mamelodi Sundowns v Swallows FC

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