Soweto giants looking to chip away at Sundowns lead

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The DStv Premiership resumes in earnest this week with Soweto arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates both looking to chip away at Mamelodi Sundowns' massive lead.
Amakhosi make the long trip to the Mother City on Tuesday to take on Cape Town City at the Cape Town Stadium.
Both teams exited the Nedbank Cup at the first hurdle on Saturday, with Stuart Baxter's side losing 1-0 to TS Galaxy while the Citizens were beaten 2-1 by Royal AM.
Chiefs are fourth in the table on 28 points, a whopping 19 adrift of Sundowns, although they have four games in hand on the league leaders.
Keagan Dolly says it's crucial for the Soweto giants to bounce back swiftly in midweek as their focus shifts solely to the league for the remainder of the season.

Mamelodi Sundowns
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"We all know that it's not easy going to Cape Town," Dolly said. "Cape Town City is a good team, they're good on the ball, they like playing (with) the ball and I think it's going to be a good game for us.
"It's important for us to come back as a team, as a whole squad we need to start concentrating on just doing our best on the day."
City find themselves three points outside the top-eight in ninth place and head coach Eric Tinkler is hoping the decisions go their way against Chiefs after admitting they didn't get the rub of the green in the defeats to SuperSport United and Thwihli Thwahla.
"I feel for the players because they didn't deserve to lose either the SuperSport game or this game [against Royal AM]," Tinkler said.
"But that's the world of football in our country right now. The standard is simply not good enough in my opinion, it needs to be a lot better. Now we've got to turn our focus to Chiefs on Tuesday and try to put on a good performance but knowing that not everything is in our hands, unfortunately it's also in others'."
Elsewhere, Royal AM welcome Sekhukhune United to Chatsworth Stadium with the two teams separated by just one position and one point in the standings.
Thwihli Thwahla occupy seventh spot after going down 1-0 to Baroka prior to the mid-season break, having edged Chiefs by the same scoreline in their previous encounter.
Babina Noko are breathing down their necks in eighth place courtesy of back-to-back goalless draws against SuperSport and Chippa United at the end of 2021.
Meanwhile, Maritzburg United will be looking to snap a 10-match winless streak when they host Matsatsantsa at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
The Team of Choice were in freefall during the latter stages of the first half of the campaign after losing five of their last 10 outings, including two straight defeats to Chippa and Chiefs most recently which left them in 13th position.
Maritzburg midfielder Lucky Baloyi is determined to avenge their Nedbank Cup defeat to the Tshwane outfit to kickstart their campaign in the New Year.
"It was disappointing losing to SuperSport in the Nedbank Cup," Baloyi admitted. "Now we are looking forward to the league, where we really need points... the chances we get we really want to use them so we can get three points at the end of the day." 
Kaitano Tembo's men closed out 2021 with a 3-2 victory over the Citizens to move up to sixth in the table, two points shy of the top-three.
SuperSport captain Ronwen Williams is aware that the opposition will be seeking revenge for being dumped out of the cup competition at the weekend, but is confident of coming out on top again.

Pirates Fan
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"There's always positive and negatives playing the same team in the space of a week," Williams said. "The positives being we beat them (in the Nedbank Cup) and the negatives are they going to want revenge and they're going to come (out) guns blazing, but we need to be up to the challenge."
Wednesday's action sees Pirates entertain Golden Arrows at the Orlando Stadium in the late kick-off.
The Buccaneers are Masandawana's closest challengers on 30 points in second place, having secured successive 2-1 wins over Marumo Gallants and AmaZulu in the final two fixtures of last year.
Abafana Bes'thende came into the New Year on the back of an eight-game unbeaten run, with their last result a 2-2 draw away to Swallows. Arrows have accrued 21 points from their opening 16 matches to sit in 10th spot.
Earlier that same evening, Stellenbosch will be seeking their third win on the trot when Swallows visit the Danie Craven Stadium.
The Maroons wrapped up the first half of the season with two consecutive 1-0 victories against Bakgaga and the Rockets to move up to third place, one point behind Pirates.
Stellies head coach Steve Barker is targeting a win that will take them beyond the 30-point mark - their initial goal - and then push on to achieve their next objective.
"The first hurdle is to get over the 30-mark and then we would want to get to 40 points as quickly as possible and hopefully still have games remaining to then push on even further to ensure we have a great season," Barker said.
The Dube Birds picked up a vital point in a 2-2 draw against Arrows last time out which allowed them to climb out of the relegation zone into 14th place.

Tuesday's DStv Premiership fixtures:

Royal AM v Sekhukhune United
Maritzburg United v SuperSport United
Cape Town City v Kaizer Chiefs

Wednesday's DStv Premiership fixtures:

Stellenbosch v Swallows
Orlando Pirates v Golden Arrows

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Published: 02/14/2022