Seven points from their opening three games is Mamelodi Sundowns’ best start to a league campaign since 2013/14.
Indeed 2013/14 was the only season under Pitso Mosimane that they started this well (also 7 points). Should they win today against AmaZulu, they would have 10 points from 4 games, equalling their best start of the last 10 years.
So, life after Mosimane hasn’t been too bad after all. While many feared the worst following the stalwart coach’s surprise departure in October, the defending champions have slowly gone about building a strong foundation for another title challenge.
The most fearsome strikeforce in the league is now complemented by a solid defence, one that has not conceded a goal in 450 minutes of league action, five whole games.
2016/17 – The last time Sundowns went 6 league games without conceding a goal was back in the 2016/17 season.
This Sunday, they host an AmaZulu side that have won just once away from home all year, drawing two and losing the other five. Usuthu have also failed to score four times in that run, only managing more than one goal on a single occasion. With Bongi Ntuli likely still out due to injury, they will have to dig deep to breach the Sundowns defence.
12 – Sundowns have kept 12 clean sheets in the league this year, more than any other top-flight side.
Moreover, Downs have kept three clean sheets in their opening three league games for only the 2nd time in their PSL history, and the first time since 2011/12. Another clean sheet today will see them set another mini-record:
4 – Only three PSL sides have kept four clean sheets in each of their opening four games of a top-flight season (Wits in 2003/04 & 2008/09, and then Pirates in 2009/10).
That said, AmaZulu themselves have taken a liking to visiting Sundowns in the last few years. Only Kaizer Chiefs (5) have scored more league goals at Sundowns since Usuthu were promoted in 2017, so that could be a reason for some optimism. It’s not just goals they have scrapped, but they have also bagged a couple of wins:
2 – AmaZulu have beaten Sundowns on two previous visits since the start of the 2017/18 season. No side has beaten Downs on their home turf on more occasions in that time.
Cape Town City v Bloem Celtic
Cape Town City host Celtic looking to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat to Sundowns in their last game. The loss to Masandawana was the first one suffered by The Citizens at home this year, and could prove just an exception to the norm. After all, no side has won more games (7) and more points (23) at home than City in 2020 (joint with SuperSport). History also favors the Citizens:
10 – This will be the 10th meeting between Cape Town City and Bloemfontein Celtic in all
competitions. City have lost just one of the previous nine, drawing three and winning five (including one extra-time victory).
Tshakuma v Baroka
The last game of the weekend sees Tshakuma Tsha Madzivhandila take on Baroka. TTM (14th) have had a rather slow start in the top-flight, at least compared to fellow newbies TS Galaxy (6th) and Swallows FC (1st). To be fair, it is still early days, and a win today can take them as high as 8th in the table.
However, they are facing one of the surprise teams of the season in Baroka, who are yet to lose a game this campaign. In fact, seven points from 3 games is Baroka’s best ever start to a top-flight league campaign.
10 – Victory today would take Baroka to 10 points in the opening four league games. Last season it took them 11 opening games to get 10 points. The season before, they had to wait until their 12th game to reach double figures for points. Progress?
By Opta Jabu