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Absa Premiership action returns

absa-logoA clash between Kaizer Chiefs against Mamelodi Sundowns highlight the return of the Absa Premiership this weekend, but there are also seven other intriguing matches lined up as all 16 teams are back in action after the international break.
League leaders Amakhosi meet the defending champions, the Brazilians, at the FNB Stadium where they will be looking to at least consolidate their 11-point advantage at the summit of the table.
Elsewhere, Orlando Pirates return to league action for the first time since the passing of their captain Senzo Meyiwa when they travel to in-form SuperSport United.
There is also a third versus fourth encounter on the bill with Ajax Cape Town to host Maritzburg United, while basement club AmaZulu will be desperate for a first win of the season when they journey to Rustenburg to play second-bottom Platinum Stars.
All eyes, though, will be fixed on the Chiefs-Sundowns match-up in Soweto on Saturday afternoon. Stuart Baxter’s men have not lost a game this season, with their only dropped points coming in a 1-1draw against Moroka Swallows in the game before their last one.
Opposite number Pitso Mosimane, meanwhile, has already seen his side drop points in six out of their 10 games to sit back in fifth position.
Amakhosi striker Bernard Parker believes that will leave the Brazilians chasing the game from the outset.
“Sundowns will be under pressure coming into the game,” he said. “From their point of view they need to close that gap.
“However, we are of course well aware of that. Even more so, if we win that could put a dent in their championship aspirations this season. We will be fully focussed and ready for the game.”
In Cape Town, both the Urban Warriors and Team of Choice will be hoping for a Sundowns win as they bid to close the gap on the championship leaders.
Sitting above them on the table are surprise second-placed side Chippa United, who travel to Bloemfontein Celtic on Sunday.
The Chilli Boys will be looking to make it five wins out of six at the Free State Stadium.
Amongst those waiting to pounce on any slip-ups are Matsatsantsa and the Buccaneers, who clash at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, also on Sunday, in a seventh against eighth encounter.
The clash comes on the back of the two sides meeting in the last game they played – the Telkom Knockout semi-finals won 2-0 by Gordon Igesund’s men.
Captain Thabo September admits that Pirates will be out for revenge in Polokwane.
“It’s always tough to play the same team in a row but it will be a different ball game and they will come out to settle the score,” he said. “But we’ll be ready.”
The remaining games are all Saturday with sixth-placed Mpumalanga Black Aces to host Polokwane City, presently 12th, at the Kanyamazane Stadium
Ambitious Bidvest Wits will be desperate to bounce back from a three-match winless streak that has seen them drop out of the top eight when they entertain Free State Stars, who axed their coach Tom Saintfeit recently, at the Bidvest Stadium.
Usuthu too will be equally anxious for a win. They are last of the Premiership and the only side without a win ahead of their bottom-of-the-table meeting with Telkom Knockout finalists Dikwena at Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
Finally, 13th-placed Moroka Swallows host University of Pretoria, who are 14th, in Dobsonville.-www.psl.co.za

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