2023/24 DStv Premiership

2023/24 DStv Premiership

Matchday 1
4-6 August 2023
The new DStv Premiership season gets underway on the opening weekend of August as the rest of the teams attempt to put an end to Mamelodi Sundowns' dominance of the domestic scene.
Sekhukhune United will have the first crack at the defending champions when they welcome Mamelodi Sundowns to the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Friday, August 4.
Babina Noko, who have yet to beat the Brazilians in four attempts, held them to a 1-1 draw in the corresponding fixture last term before suffering a 2-0 defeat away from home.
Sundowns are unbeaten in their last 24 league games since losing 2-1 to SuperSport United on 2 September 2022 and head coach Rulani Mokwena hopes the work they have done on the defensive side of things will pay dividends.
"We have worked on quite a few things from the schemes we want to see both in and out of possession and our rest defence scheme because we have changed the structure," Mokwena said.
"There are games that are going to be difficult and there are games that are going to demand that we adopt certain elements, particularly from a defensive perspective where we suffered a bit more."
Then on Saturday, Orlando Pirates will kick off their title challenge against Stellenbosch at the Danie Craven Stadium.
The Buccaneers recovered from a slow start in 2022-23 to finish runners-up in the league albeit a massive 16 points behind Masandawana. They have a good record against the Maroons, losing just one of their 10 previous league encounters.
Stellies played out to a 1-1 draw with Pirates in the corresponding fixture last year, but were comprehensively beaten 4-1 away from home.
Bucs head coach Jose Riveiro sees the Soweto giants as one of four contenders to rival Downs in 2023-24, along with Kaizer Chiefs, SuperSport and Cape Town City.
"For sure there'll be a number of teams apart from Sundowns who'll challenge for the title. History says that there's at least four, five contenders for the title in my opinion," Riveiro said.
"I think that Pirates, Chiefs, SuperSport, I think they were very sharp in the market and they are going to have strong teams again. I also think a lot hasn't been said about how Cape Town City finished last season and they will have continuity because they managed to keep their key players."
Meanwhile, SuperSport United will be looking to put early pressure on Sundowns when they host Richards Bay at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Matsatsantsa appeared to have second place nailed down last term before a poor run of form in the final two months saw them finish three points behind Pirates in third spot. They edged the Natal Rich Boyz 1-0 in the corresponding fixture before being held to a 1-1 draw at home.
Richards Bay made a flying start to life in the top flight, but their form plummeted in the new year and the 2021-22 National First Division champions ended up finishing just three points above the relegation zone after failing to win their last 14 matches.
Elsewhere, Golden Arrows entertain Moroka Swallows at the Mpumalanga Stadium, while Royal AM and AmaZulu square off in the first KZN derby of the campaign at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
In Sunday's action, Kaizer Chiefs begin the Molefi Ntseki era with a home clash against Chippa United at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Amakhosi suffered four defeats in their last five games under Arthur Zwane last season to limp to a fifth-placed finish, while the Chilli Boys survived the drop by the skin of their teeth, taking 14th position on goal difference ahead of Maritzburg United.
The two teams shared the spoils last term, with Chippa triumphing 2-1 in the corresponding fixture and the Glamour Boys winning 1-0 away from home.
Ntseki could be without four key players for their opener in Durban as there are fitness concerns over Keagan Dolly, Happy Mashiane, Ranga Chivaviro and Ashley Du Preez. The Chiefs head coach feels their absence could hurt the team's creativity in the final third.
"It's a big concern because when we create chances, we have to bury those chances. And if we don't create chances, it means there's a problem in terms of our creativity in the last third," Ntseki told SuperSport.
In the other matches taking place around the country, Cape Town Spurs make their long-awaited return to the top tier of South African football when they face TS Galaxy at the Mbombela Stadium, while fellow newcomers Polokwane City travel to the Mother City to take on Cape Town City at Athlone Stadium.

DStv Premiership matchday 1 fixtures:

Friday, August 4
19h30: Sekhukhune United v Mamelodi Sundowns
Saturday, August 5
15h00: Golden Arrows v Moroka Swallows
15h00: SuperSport United v Richards Bay
17h30: Royal AM v AmaZulu
20h00: Stellenbosch v Orlando Pirates
Sunday, August 6
15h00: Kaizer Chiefs v Chippa United
15h00: TS Galaxy v Cape Town Spurs
17h30: Cape Town City v Polokwane City

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Published: 08/04/2023