The DStv Premiership will kick off today and a lot is expected from the respective teams.
FARPost Editor Tiyani wa ka Mabasa puts his (big) head on the chopping block to make the 2020/21 predictions.
The reigning PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns may struggle this season. Firstly, the Brazilians have lost coach Pitso Mosimane, who moved to Egyptian side Al Ahly and secondly, they are in a rebuilding phase with over 10 new signings.
On the other hand, Orlando Pirates have bought well in the transfer window. Bucs needed a stronger centre back and in Thulani Hlatshwayo they have found a leader and most of all, a quality player. Pirates also needed a Number 1 goalkeeper, who’s not going to be doubted. Ghana’s Number 1 Richard Ofori is a great acquisition and to be fair, Wayne Sandilands has done very well. It augurs well for Pirates that there will be fierce competition for the Number 1 jersey.
TOP EIGHT FINISHERS
Pirates, Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs, SuperSport United, Cape Town City, Maritzburg United and Bloemfontein Celtic are probably going to end up in the top eight.
Who then is Team 8? Stellenbosch are looking a lot stronger with the signings of Zitha Macheke and Sage Stephens, who comes in the goalkeeping department. The Cape side finished 10th last season, which was their first in the topflight. I think they’ll improve this season.
WHO WILL BE RELEGATED?
(Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila)
Their preparations for the season leaves a lot to be desired. TTM had three substitutes in their MTN8 clash against SuperSport United, which they lost 3-2. Tshakhuma even announced Augustine Mulenga as one of their new signings, but the Zambian claims he was “surprised” because he didn’t sign a contract with the Limpopo side. To cut the long story short, as they say, ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’. This will end in tears.
FIRST COACH TO BE FIRED
Perhaps it would be easier to say Lehlohonolo Seema of Chippa United, because club boss Siviwe ‘Chippa’ Mpengesi is trigger-happy. However, I doubt AmaZulu’s Ayanda Dlamini will last the distance. Usuthu believe they have signed very well with the likes of Siphiwe Tshabalala, Mulenga and Luvuyo Memela coming through. The club will expect some good results sooner rather than later.
COACH OF THE SEASON
Speaking of coaches, Pirates’ Josef Zinnbauer is now settled and unlike in the past season, he’s had pre-season with the team. Pirates have also bolstered their ranks well and this is a great opportunity for the German to bring the much-needed silverware to the Buccaneers.
Pirates fared well under Zinnbauer and after so many great signings, the least expected is a trophy. As they say, ‘To whom much is given, much is expected’ and in this case, time will tell.
PLAYER OF THE SEASON
Siphesihle Ndlovu certainly has the potential to be a big driving force for the Buccaneers and having been a PSL Young Player of the Season in the past, Ndlovu has shown his ability. Zinnbauer appears to be trusting him more and this has resulted in the 24-year-old playing more games and winning Man of the Match awards. If Ndlovu plays more games for Pirates, expect him to be one of the best players in the League this season.
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WHO WILL BE TOP SCORER
It’s between Gabadinho Mhango of Pirates and new Sundowns signing Kermit Erasmus. I’ll pick Erasmus, especially because of the quality of players around him who are great creators such as Themba Zwane and Gaston Sirino. More often than not, Erasmus has struggled to reach double figures, but he did last season and now even more determined, the PSL defenders are not going to have an easy time against him.
SIGNING OF THE SEASON
Richard Ofori. The Ghanaian could prove vital for Pirates’ title chase. I don’t see Pirates conceding many goals with Ofori in goal and YES, the man is prone to mistakes, but no-one is perfect.
Let’s wait and see.
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By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa