Mamelodi Sundowns have the chance to serve a timely reminder that they are indeed the best team in the league when they host Maritzburg United on Wednesday.
The defending champions, who are looking for a fourth consecutive title, have come under pressure for the first time this season due to the form of Amazulu.
Just how long Usuthu will be able to keep not only their current form but their head coach, Benni McCarthy, remains to be seen. That said, Sundowns start against the Team of Choice with just a single point as the cushion between themselves and Amazulu.
McCarthy’s upstarts won the Q-Innovation in Q3 after collecting 20 points. That form has seen McCarthy installed as the favourite for the vacant Bafana Bafana head coach job.
Before we get excited about the prospect of an upset championship winner, please be reminded that Sundowns have two games in hand.
Golden Arrows are third but eight points behind Sundowns and they too have played two more games.
The ball is still firmly in Sundowns’ court. Their equation is simple, 12 points will earn them the title regardless of what Amazulu do from here on out.
Maritzburg United pose little threat to Sundowns, they drew with Swallows last time out and have just one win from their last four league games. They currently sit in 12th and three points off the promotion/relegation playoff spot.
Sundowns returned to form when they dispatched Orlando Pirates 3-0 on the weekend.
“A win is always positive, more especially when it is perceived that you’ve lost your way,” said Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi.
“Yet, the truth of the matter is that we had too much mileage on our legs and we needed to recover a little bit, which we’ve done.
“We are hopeful now that we will only get stronger. The truth of the matter is that this is a very good result. We have big matches coming.”
On Thursday, Pirates are in action when they host Black Leopards. The Buccaneers are fifth following the loss to the Brazilians.
They start the encounter without a win in their last two league outings while Leopards are still bottom despite a rare win.
Lidoda Duvha beat 15th placed TTM 2-1 but still have four points to close the gap to avoid immediate relegation.
Pirates have continued to stumble and stall in the current campaign. Something that Rhulani Mokwena, currently a co-coach of Sundowns, considers unacceptable.
“I would think the standard they have set, the work they have done, the recruitment they have made and the investment that has gone into the club this season, it should suggest to be winning more games and should be putting pressure.
“And knowing the club, I don’t think they consider themselves out of the title race because mathematically it’s still possible they can win the title.”