JOHANNESBURG – THE Absa Premiership resumes on Friday with a round of matches set to have bearing on some sides’ title ambitions, top eight aspirations and survival from the dreaded relegation.
In arguably the match of the round, Mamelodi Sundowns and Cape Town City will clash in the top-of-the table encounter at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town on Friday.
Sundowns, the log leaders with 35 points, will be looking to extend their four-point advantage over City, who sit second.
Both sides are emerging from draws with Sundowns playing a stalemate (0-0) against Kaizer Chiefs while Cape Town City sharing the spoils against Bloemfontein Celtic (1-1).
City are proving their form last season, when they finished third on the table in their debut campaign, was no fluke.
Sundowns have meanwhile shown the kind of form that makes them the most successful team in the Premiership era. The Brazilians have the depth in their squad to go all the way and add an eighth league title.
Pitso Mosimane, the Mamelodi Sundowns side’s coach, downplayed the relevance of the match in deciding the destiny of the title.
“It is a long way (until the end of the season),” Mosiname said ahead of the battle on Friday.
“I don’t worry about Cape Town City. They can narrow the gap,” the title-winning mentor claimed.
On Saturday, third-placed Orlando Pirates will aim to continue their revival against a Maritzburg United side that is sitting on sixth and challenging for a rare top eight berth. The sides will play at Orlando Stadium.
Soweto neighbours Chiefs, in fourth, visit improving Bidvest Wits, who are now 12th but still unsafe from relegation.
Also on Saturday, Free State Stars, fifth at the time of going to press, host struggling Baroka at Goble Park while off-form SuperSport United entertain Bloemfontein Celtic at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Celtic have slid to ninth while Supersport has been sucked into the relegation battle at 13th position.
Amazulu (14th) and Golden Arrows(10th) will contest the KwaZulu-Natal derby at King Zwelithini Stadium.
The round concludes on Sunday with two battles sitting in mid-table hosting the relegation contenders.
Polokwane City are at home to Ajax Cape Town at Old Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Bottom-placed Platinum Stars travel to the Nelson Mandela in Port Elizabeth for a tricky fixture against Chippa United.
Full fixture below:
FRIDAY, 2nd February 2018
Cape Town City FC vs Mamelodi Sundowns (Athlone Stadium 20:00Hrs)
SATURDAY, 3rd February 2018
Free State Stars vs Baroka FC (Goble Park 15:30Hrs)
SuperSport United vs Bloemfontein Celtic (Lucas Moripe Stadium 15:30Hrs)
Bidvest Wits vs Kaizer Chiefs (Bidvest Stadium 18:00 Hrs)
Orlando Pirates vs Maritzburg United (Orlando Stadium 20:15Hrs)
AmaZulu FC vs Golden Arrows (King Zwelithini Stadium 20:15Hrs)
SUNDAY, 4th February 2018
Polokwane City vs Ajax Cape Town (Old Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30Hrs)
Chippa United vs Platinum Stars (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 15:30Hrs)
– CAJ News