Brazilians return to DStv Premiership

Brazilians return to DStv Premiership
Mamelodi Sundowns players warming up

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Mar 03, 2023. 11:00

Mamelodi Sundowns will return to DStv Premiership action for the first time in more than a month this weekend, as they look to close in on an inevitable sixth successive championship.

The Brazilians – who have been absent from domestic league action since early February due to Nedbank Cup and CAF Champions League commitments – already have 55 points on the board, thanks in the main to a record 15-match winning run.

Their nearest chasers are SuperSport United, who can reach a maximum of 63 points if they win all nine of their remaining fixtures. This means a combination of ‘Downs winning their match away to Stellenbosch FC, and Matsatsantsa losing to Golden Arrows (they were beaten by Abafana Bes’thende when the teams last met in January) on Sunday would put Rulani Mokwena’s team just one win away from securing the championship.

However, the Brazilians coach insists that the champagne needs to remain on ice: “We’ve got so much work to do and so many games to play. There’s still nine games to play [in the DStv Premiership] this season.

“We must respect every opponent. It’s going to be difficult. But the same way we respected the 21 games, we have to respect the nine with due diligence.”

The weekend’s slate of matches opens on Friday evening with the ‘original’ Soweto derby between Swallows FC and Orlando Pirates. The Birds will be hungry for more success after a key win over Chippa United, while the Buccaneers are hoping to bounce back from defeat to another Soweto rival, Kaizer Chiefs, last weekend.

“It’s painful for the fans. It’s painful for the players and it’s painful for us,” Pirates assistant coach Sergio Almenara said. “The only thing that we can do now is to move on and prepare for our next game against Swallows.”

Saturday afternoon sees Chiefs looking to build on their win over Bucs when they take on Richards Bay, Royal AM and Sekhukhune United will renew their heated rivalry with a clash at Chatsworth Stadium in the early evening, and the night game sees Maritzburg United looking to break a four-game winless streak when they host Cape Town City (who are chasing a hat-trick of wins).

Sunday, aside from the matches involving the leading Tshwane duo, also features Chippa United and Marumo Gallants looking to claim home wins against AmaZulu and TS Galaxy respectively.

DStv Premiership weekend fixtures

Times CAT

Friday 3 March

19:30: Swallows FC v Orlando Pirates

Saturday 4 March

15:30: Richards Bay v Kaizer Chiefs

17:45: Royal AM v Sekhukhune United

20:00: Maritzburg United v Cape Town City

Sunday 5 March

15:30: Chippa United v AmaZulu

15:30: Marumo Gallants v TS Galaxy

15:30: Stellenbosch FC v Mamelodi Sundowns

17:45: SuperSport United v Golden Arrows

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