The 2020-21 edition of the South African Premier Soccer League kicks off with a truly mouthwatering fixture this weekend as two of the biggest teams in the country, Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns, lock horns in what is set to be an ideal curtain-raiser at the FNB Stadium.
Chiefs and Sundowns were the two best teams in South Africa last season and will want to make a massive statement on Saturday.
Mamelodi Sundowns have won three consecutive league titles in the South African top flight and will want to further their extraordinary streak this season.
The Brazilians slumped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Bloemfontein Celtic in an MTN8 quarter-final clash last weekend and will have to present a better version of themselves in the first league game of the new season.
Kaizer Chiefs missed out on their first South African PSL title since 2015 by a two-point margin last season. The Glamour Boys are likely to remain the chief threat to Mamelodi Sundowns' recent domestic domination and will want to get a head start on their rivals with a victory on Saturday.
Kaizer Chiefs vs Mamelodi Sundowns Head-to-Head
Over the last decade, the two South African giants have faced each other a total of 28 times. Kaizer Chiefs have won a total of 12 games in this match-up as opposed to Mamelodi Sundowns' 10 victories.
The previous meeting between these two sides saw Sundowns secure a crucial 1-0 victory against Chiefs. Gaston Sirino was the hero on the day and will hope to put in a similar performance on Saturday.
Kaizer Chiefs form guide: W-D-W-L-L
Mamelodi Sundowns form guide: L-W-W-W-W
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Kaizer Chiefs vs Mamelodi Sundowns Team News
Amakhosi have their fair share of injuries to account for in this game, with manager Gavin Hunt confirming that star striker Samir Nurkovic will be unavailable for this game. Leonardo Castro has recovered from his injury and might feature in the starting line-up.
Injured: Samir Nurković, Dumsani Zuma, Mulomowandau Mathoho
Mamelodi Sundowns have one of the biggest squads in South Africa and have several options ahead of Saturday's game. Uruguayan forward Mauricio Affonso is currently injured and will not be able to play a part in the game.
Injured: Mauricio Affonso
Kaizer Chiefs vs Mamelodi Sundowns Predicted XI
Kaizer Chiefs Predicted XI (4-4-2): Itumeleng Khune; Reeve Frosler, Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Daniel Cardoso, Yagan Sasman; Anthony Agay Akumu, Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, Kearyn Baccus, Bernard Parker; Khama Billiat, Leonardo Castro
Mamelodi Sundowns Predicted XI (4-1-3-2): Denis Onyango; Lyle Lakay, Ricardo Nascimento, Motjeka Madisha, Nyiko Mobbie; Rivaldo Coetzee; Themba Zwane, Gaston Sorini, Hlompho Kekana; Kermit Erasmus, Peter Shalulile
Kaizer Chiefs vs Mamelodi Sundowns
Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns share an intriguing rivalry and are on a fairly even footing as far as talent and quality are concerned. The Brazilians have a formidable attacking force and the likes of Peter Shalulile, Kermit Erasmus, and Gaston Sirino will have pivotal roles to play in this fixture.
The Kaizer Chiefs might spend considerable periods of the match on the back-foot but will have their chances on the counter. With Leonardo Castro back in action for Gavin Hunt and his side, the Glamour Boys may well be able to trouble their arch-rivals in this fixture.
Prediction: Kaizer Chiefs 2-2 Mamelodi Sundowns
Also Read: Top 10 attacking trios in football historyPublished 23 Oct 2020, 00:06 IST