Mon 21 Oct by Mark Gleeson
Tuesday will decide the last place in the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals when Chippa United host Bloemfontein Celtic, but much more important as far as the season is concerned, is the PSL catch-up game Wednesday, when Highlands Park visit champions Mamelodi Sundowns.Pitso Mosimane’s team are the last unbeaten team left in the league with four wins and two draws from their six PSL outings to date.Yet they sit five points behind leaders Kaizer Chiefs, who have been beaten but have managed to get themselves top in a reversal of the poor fortunes that have dogged them for seasons.Mosimane made it clear at the weekend that he sees the Highlands game as vital in their bid for another title, a fifth in seven seasons, which would emphasise just how dominant they have been in the local game.In fact, he says, it is much more important than beating Chiefs, who they play on Sunday at Loftus Versfeld.That means any assumption that he might rest key players Wednesday night at Atteridgeville are wrong and it will be a full-strength team out to take on Highlands, who are hard-running and very physical.It is still early in the season and past campaigns have taught us the title is a long way from being decided in October.Last season when Bidvest Wits, had established a decent lead before Christmas, Mosimane predicted they would run away with the title. He was wrong - his side did and Wits finished third.Both Sundowns and Highlands played cup games on Sunday after the lengthy break and while the Brazilians cruised to a 5-0 win over AmaZulu, Highlands had to go through extra time and post-match penalties to overcome Black Leopards and advance to the quarter-finals. Tuesday cup game marks a debut in charge of Chippa for ex-Zimbabwe international Norman Mapeza, who was an imposing player at Galatasaray in Turkey in his heyday. Chippa are still looking for their first win of the season and whether Mapeza has the Midas touch remains to be seen.
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