The DSTV Premiership returns with the CAF and the Top 8 spots still up for grabs

By Neo Poho

The first weekend of April sees the DSTV Premiership return after a week of the FIFA international break with the CAF Champions League and the MTN 8 spot still up for grabs.

Defending champions and current log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns are not in action over the weekend however, Rhulani Mokwena's charges will entertain Cape Town City the following week on the 4th of April at Loftus Versfeld.

The importance of this encounter lies in the fact that should Sundowns win that match they would be crowned the champions of the 2022/23 DSTV Premiership because mathematically SuperSport United who are occupying the second spot with 39 points can only reach a maximum of 60 points should they win all their remaining 7 matches.

Speaking about SuperSport United, Matsatsantsa a Pitori have been on a good run of form lately despite losing their previous match to Orlando Pirates just before the international break, leading fellow top 2 contenders in Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs with just two points and I believe that's the real exciting part of the last hurdle in the league heading to the closure in May.

On Saturday SuperSport is up against Chippa United away from home and with Pirates and Chiefs breathing down its neck, they will try by all means to get the much needed victory to create some breathing space between them and the two Soweto giants.

What will also give SuperSport the courage and motivation to do well in their remaining seven matches in the DSTV Premiership is the fact that the league is gone and out of their reach.

Should SuperSport do well and finish in the top 2, that will mark a victory for Tshwane as two teams from the capital city will be representing South Africa in the CAF Champions League next season.

On the contrary it won't be an easy ride for Hunt's men as they still have AmaZulu, Kaizer Chiefs, Stellenbosch FC and TS Galaxy to deal with.

Third on the log Orlando Pirates who have already won the MTN 8 trophy this season and are also in contention for another trophy in the Nedbank Cup are away to Richards Bay on Saturday.

The Buccaneers who haven't really came out in public to talk about their CAF aspirations for next season boosted their chances in their previous clash defeating SuperSport United 1-0 at the Orlando Stadium.

With Cape City, TS Galaxy, Royal AM and AmaZulu being some of the major opponents for Jose Riviero's side in the next coming weeks, I fancy Pirates slipping into the fourth or fifth spot when the league concludes.

One of the major reasons why Pirates would slip up is the focus might just switch to clinching the Nedbank Cup and ending the league having two trophies and progressing to the CAF Confederations Cup.

Meanwhile still on a 8 year trophy drought, Kaizer Chiefs have made it clear that their goal is to finish second in the DSTV Premiership when the league concludes on the 20th of May.

Amakhosi who lost in the final of the CAF Champions League the last time they were involved in the competition have been on a good run of form lately winning four matches in a row in all competitions.

I certainly believe that with the good run of form and with the hunger and desire that they have shown recently, Arthur Zwane's men will know that finishing second in the league will be a huge achievement for the team that has not had it easy for the longest time.

Amakhosi will welcome Stellenbosch FC over the weekend at the FNB Stadium seeking to potentially go second on the log with 40 points.

The last time the two sides played each other Chiefs ran riot defeating Steve Barker's men 3-1 at the Cape Town Stadium with Caleb Bimenyimana scoring a hat-trick of penalties.

With the fans also gradually starting to lose patience, Amakhosi will want to bring back the glory days to Naturena with a silverware.

Chiefs are currently set to play Royal AM in the last 8 of the competition and if anything is go by, the last encounter between the sides saw Zwane's men walk home with all the three points.

That victory will also serve as a confidence booster heading into the last 8 of the Nedbank Cup encounter, another crucial element that will play in Chiefs' advantage is if the clash gets to played in Johannesburg at the FNB Stadium or in Durban at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, Amakhosi will have their fans coming out in numbers.

Lastly the return of the DSTV Premiership will see the push for the top 8 finish intensifies as Sekhukhune United, Royal AM, TS Galaxy, AmaZulu and Stellenbosch FC all in a favourable position to finish in the top 8 and qualify for the MTN 8 next season.

Article Tags


DSTV Premiership

Kaizer Chiefs

Orlando Pirates

Mamelodi Sundowns


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