2018/19 ABSA Premiership Catchup: How is your team faring?
It’s matchday 10 of 30 in South Africa’s top flight league football, the ABSA Premiership. One of the most celebrated and diverse football leagues on the continent if I may add. The defending champions have had to adjust to life without the 2017/18 starman, Percy Tau and his partner Khama Billiat who switched colors. Percy unto the English Premier League side, Brighton & Hove Albion whereas Khama joined bitter rivals, Kaizer Chiefs. Speaking about Chiefs, together with their next door neighbors, Orlando Pirates - the 2018/19 season is one they earnestly look for some long forgotten silverware while the league’s own “Shakespeare” in Steve Komphela seeks to thrive in a new role at Bloemfontein Celtic. It’s all happening and the battles have never been more competitive. Who is where? And how are things looking?
Clever Boys in control
After narrowingly surviving the chop last campaign, courtesy of a more aggressive approach in the second round of matches in the 2017/18 Absa premier league season, Bidvest Wits find themselves top of the standings after 10 matches in the current campaign. Gavin Hunt’s men have not done bad at all, winning 5 matches, drawing 2 and losing only 2. They are a single point ahead of Orlando Pirates, though having played one fewer matches. The Students who took home the 2016/17 title look to go back to glory days after patiently holding onto their gaffer in the previous campaign at a time when everyone thought he should have received the sack. They have scored the most goals, conceded the least and look like they won’t be easily bullied off the top of the standings.
Soweto boys eyeing the prize
It’s a familiar sight looking at the ABSA premiership standings. At least on some parts of the table. After finishing second and third, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, respectively occupy the same positions after matchday 10 of the 2018/19 premier league season. Pirates last won the premiership title between 2010-12, two consecutive times whereas Amakhosi last enjoyed the glory in the 2014/15 season. Trust me when I say that these two household names are desperate to make right by their fans. Zimbabwean star man, Khama Billiat has been instrumental for the boys in gold and black ever since joining the side and Zambian young forward Justin Shonga is one of the marksman that the Sea Robbers will be looking to for goals though Maliele Vincent Pule has provided the most, so far. Guess what, they are meeting this weekend for the first much anticipated Soweto Derby of the season. I and most definitely the whole continent, shall be watching.
Three title dark horses
There is a crop of three teams lying on positions 4, 5 and 6. These sides are all tied on 14 points and with an almost inseparable goal difference. From experience of watching and experiencing the beautiful game, any of the three can emerge as a strong contender for the title and can even go all the way. Supersport United, Steve Komphela’s Bloemfontein Celtic and Polokwane City respectively occupy the above mentioned positions. Matsatsantsa’s (Supersport United) marksman, Evans Rusike is actually topping the scoring charts with four goals followed by Billiat on three. A proud moment for the Zimbabweans being repped by these frontmen.
What about Bafana BaStyle you may ask? Mamelodi Sundowns are currently on seventh position, the only team still to lose a match and with three games in hand. Don’t rule them out of anything yet.
Ksazobalit! (It’s going to be lit!)