THE Absa Premiership title race has reached boiling point.
With nine rounds of matches to go, nobody can afford to drop points anymore during these resurrection days, as displayed by a sham of a Joburg pastor in his church’s fictional sitcom.
It’s still unclear which PSL club will win the championship between Bidvest Wits, Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns and Cape Town City, who are all in the mix.
Wits, Pirates and Downs are favourites to lift the crown, but the Citizens are dark-horses in the race capable of causing an upset and spoil the early celebrations of Wits.
Ironically, Downs host City in a catch-up league clash at Loftus Versfeld tonight (7.30pm), and Benni McCarthy’s charges will also meet Wits in Milpark on Saturday (8.15pm).
Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana told SunSport that it would be suicidal to drop more points at this stage.
The Brazilians dropped four vital points in their last two games, something that could haunt them, come end of season following a 1-1 draw with Polokwane City midweek and leaders Clever Boys, who also held them by the same margin in Milpark at the weekend.
The Pitso Mosimane’s coached side trail leaders Wits by two points and are tied in second place with Pirates on 36 points from 19 matches – but Masandawana have two games in hand.
Said Kekana: “The past two games have been a challenge.
“We made mistakes and conceded silly goals that played a huge role in deciding the outcome.
“We understand what went wrong and we need to dust ourselves to start winning again.”
However, the Bafana Bafana midfielder is aware they won’t have an easy passage to glory having lost 4-2 on penalties to McCarthy’s Citizens in the MTN8 Cup semi-final in September last year.
“It’s a crucial time of the season and everybody needs points. It will be a difficult match, though we need to apply ourselves well to ensure we win.”
Sundowns’ defence will need to keep a close eye on City’s top goal-scorer Siphelele “Shaka Zulu” Mthembu, who has already scored seven goals so far this season.
Mosimane will reshuffle his defence to plug the gap left by the suspended Wayne Arendse, who got a red card against Wits.
Explained Kekana: “We know their strength and we have been working hard at training to ensure they don’t hurt us. We also looked at their weak side to ensure we punish them.”
To rise or not rise, like the modern-day Lazarus?
It remains a challenge for all the 16 teams.