Who will win the sprint for the ABSA Premiership 2019-20 season: kaizer Chiefs Or Sundowns Or Pirates

Finally, after waiting for over 4 months the ABSA Premiership kicks off on the 11 of August 2020. All other leagues around the world have been completed but unlike European countries, South Africa is only seeing its COVID-19 peek now in August and September which shows that we are really lucky to have football. European countries started their leagues when the virus infections and deaths were reducing but SA starts when the numbers are increasing! For example, Germany had their COVID-19 peak in April, their infection rate and deaths have been low since 27th of April 2020.

Kaizer Chiefs currently lead the log with 4 points while their Pretoria rivals, Mamelodi Sundowns are in second place with 1 game in hand. Kaizer Chiefs and Sundowns are playing on the 27 of August 2020. This game will be a crucial game for both teams, whoever wins this game will gain a huge advantage. This will be regarded as a 6 point game. Kaizer Chiefs have 8 games to play and Mamelodi Sundowns have 9 games to play but they are also in the Nedbank Semi-Final. The Nedbank Cup 2019-20 can be destruction for Sundowns should they win or lose. If they win they will want to celebrate with games coming up every 3 days it can be a huge disadvantage and if they lose the semi-final it can be a confidence knock.

Who will win the ABSA Premiership 2019-20 season? Let's have a look at the fixture list, released players, new FIFA rules, teams battling relegation, and injuries to get a clearer picture.

FIFA Update Law 3: Allow 5 Substitutes

FIFA has allowed teams to be able to make 5 substitutes but have enforced that teams will only have 3 substitute intervals to prevent teams using the substitutes for time-wasting during the later parts of the game.  FIFA has made these changes due to concern of a congested fixture list caused by COVID-19.

Mamelodi Sundowns have an advantage over its rivals with respect to this law due to the sheer quality of players sitting on their bench. However, we have seen in recent matches that coach Pitso is reluctant to substitute or change his team. On the other hand, we saw the likes of Barcelona struggling with this amended law. This is as a result of teams able to withstand tika taka football because of the 5 substitutes allowed by FIFA. Tika Taka is designed to make the opposition team tired and with 5 substitutes, teams were able to substitute the tired players with fresh legs which in normal circumstances they could have not been able to do.

Kaizer Chiefs fixture list

No doubt Kaizer Chiefs(KC) have tough games to play. They play the big three in the league, to rub salt into the wound they play Bidvest Wits twice. The Sale of Bidvest Wits can be a plus for them since the players and management have been shocked about the sale and they are concentrating on sealing contracts with other big teams rather than on winning matches. No doubt if KC wins all their games the will lift the Absa Premiership trophy for the first time in 5 years and will get to keep the trophy since Absa has ended their sponsorship with the PSL! Kaizer Chiefs are ruthless in front of goal but off late have been conceding silly goals. A four month break should have given them enough time to work on their defensive mistakes. Contender of player of the season Lebo Manyama should be itching to play to add to his 6 goals and 8 assists, while Nurkovic with 11 goals will be aiming for the golden boot in his maiden season. 

No injuries to key players have been reported by KC. However, the departure of George Maluleka who has joined Mamelodi Sundowns will hurt them significantly. He was contributed immensely to the success of KC and he is the creative middle fielder, the only one the coach trusts. Goerge has contributed 4 goal assists in the 2019-20 season.

Sundowns Fixture List

Sundowns has 9 games, 1 too many to play than KC. Additionally, Nedbank cup comes at an inconvenient time for them, as the opener of the PSL when KC is resting and training trying to get back to full fitness as well as match fitness. The extra 3 days may prove the difference for Amakhosi. Sundowns also have two tough games against Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates who still believe they have a chance to win the league after an unbelievable run of form after the departure of Rhulani Mokoena. Notwithstanding, the fact that Mango will want to score to increase his chances of winning the golden boot as well as becoming the first player to get to 20 goals since the legend Siyabong Nomvethe did it in 2011-12. On the other hand, Themba Zwane will want to push for the player of the season award, so far he has been brilliant to wash. He has contributed 9 goals and 4 assists in 16 games in the PSL league. Orlando Pirates can be the party spoilers by taking 3 points from Sundowns and ex-coach Rhulani will make sure that does not happen since his unsuccessful stint as Orlando Pirates coach failed dismally. Rhulani will want to prove a point to Orlando Pirates!

Injuries: Keletso Makgalwa (back muscles), Anele Ngcongca (hamstring), Sammy Seabi (hamstring), Tiyani Mabunda (hamstring), Aubrey Ngoma (quadriceps) and Mosa Lebusa (back muscles). Mauricio Affonso is stuck in Uruguay and will be unavailable for most of the fixtures.

Orlando Pirates Fixture List

The Buccaneers have 7 games left and currently 8 points behind KC. Orlando Pirates have an outside chance but will surely need to win all their games and hope Sundowns and KC drop points. They have 7 games which will enable them to manage the players well for those games.

No injuries have been reported by Orlando Pirates.

Relegation Battle

The relegation battle is fierce with 8 teams that are not too far from each other on the log. Top teams looking for points are going to find it hard to get any points from the bottom 8 teams since their lives in the PSL depends on those points. 

Bloem Celtic (28 pts), Cape Town City (27 pts), Stellenbosch (27 pts), Chippa United (26 pts), Baroka (23 pts), Polokwane City (23 pts) Amazulu (23 pts) and Black Leopards (20 pts).

How do you think will win the league and which two teams do u think will be relegated?  Leave your comments below.

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