Arguably the game of the DStv Premiership weekend will be Kaizer Chiefs’ visit to SuperSport United on Sunday, where the uptick in the AmaKhosi’s form will get a serious test against unbeaten Matsatsantsa.
SuperSport have not drawn much attention in the opening weeks of the campaign but have looked solid and perhaps the only likely challengers to Mamelodi Sundowns in the title race this season.
They trail The Brazilians by four points after seven games, while Chiefs’ dismal start to the campaign, which improved slightly with the 4-0 win over Chippa United last time out, sees them already 10 points back from top spot.
SuperSport have built on a reasonably strong finish to the last campaign and have just a single defeat – to Sundowns – in their last 15 games in all competitions (W6 D8).
Their success this campaign has been built on a rock-solid defence, with only two goals conceded in their seven league games.
The young central defensive partnership of Luke Fleurs (21) and Botswana international Thatayaone Ditlhokwe (23) have been particularly impressive, and will have their hands full with a resurgent Keagan Dolly and Khama Billiat on Sunday.
Added to that the form of Jesse Donn (22), Jamie Webber (23), Sipho Mbule (23) and Teboho Mokoena (24) and this youthful Matsatsantsa side are starting to come into their own.
Without trying to downplay their achievements this season, this will perhaps be their biggest test yet – though 0-0 draws at AmaZulu and Cape Town City were hard-earned.
Until this past weekend, Chiefs looked a team in disarray, but their big-name players stepped up for them and they will have got a boost in confidence from the Chippa result.
Dolly scored twice and got an assist, and Billiat was also on the scoresheet and earned himself two assists.
It is clear that this is where the threat for Chiefs lies, especially with Leonardo Castro and Samir Nurkovic sidelined through long-term injury. If they can neutralise those too, Chiefs don’t offer too much more going forward.
Recent history is also very much in the favour of SuperSport. Chiefs have won only two of their last 16 meetings (D9 L5) dating back to 2016.
The AmaKhosi have also only scored one goal in four league games away this season, and even that was a dubious penalty at AmaZulu. They were kept scoreless at TS Galaxy, Sundowns and Marumo Gallants.
By contrast, SuperSport have won their last five home games in a row, scoring an average of two goals per game in doing so.
© Mzansi Football