Monday's PSL action preview: Can Mamelodi Sundowns maintain top spot?

It could be a decisive day in the PSL title race as Masandawana look to maintain their lead at the summit when they clash with the Students

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) title race continues on Monday with Bidvest Wits, Cape Town City and Mamelodi Sundowns, all in action.

The title race is expected to go down to the wire, but Monday night could potentially be decisive in the race for glory.

In the first of two games on the day, the Citizens travel to KwaZulu-Natal to face off against a tricky Maritzburg United side.

Eric Tinkler’s men know that only victory will do, as their inactivity on the weekend saw Masandawana overtake them on the league standings. City’s rise has been one of this season’s most sensational stories, and despite City carrying the underdog tag, they have proven that they can mix it with the best.

The Team of Choice have been on the rise of late. Under the tutelage of Fadlu Davids, Maritzburg look revitalised and go into the clash on the back of two successive victories.

Maritzburg will be on the hunt for a positive result as they look to cement their place in the top eight.

City will once again be relying on the combination of Aubrey Ngoma and Lebogang Manyama to lead them to glory. The two attacking players have been their top performers and against Maritzburg, they could be key in unlocking a somewhat stubborn defence.

However, it should be noted that Maritzburg have dangermen of their own, as they have an attack filled with pace and power, and City must be wary of the threat which players such as winger Kurt Lentjies pose. The veteran midfielder has been rolling back the years as he has dazzled opposition defences with his skill and eye for goals.

The last time these two sides met in the league, City edged Maritzburg 3-2 in the Mother City.

Meanwhile, in the main event of the day, the Brazilians travel to Johannesburg to lock horns with the Students.

The match promises to be a tightly contested affair, and is finely balanced.

While victory on the night could propel either side to PSL glory, Wits cannot afford to lose on the night as defeat could signal the end of their title aspirations.

Pitso Mosimane’s men go into the clash brimming with confidence following their 2-0 win over Golden Arrows on Friday night. 

Wits on the other hand, also go into the match on the back of a comfortable victory against Highlands Park on Friday evening.

Although Wits’ title aspirations were dealt a blow after losing to SuperSport United last week, they remain in contention as they have two games in hand and are two points off the summit.

Sundowns’ recent resurgence has seen them overcome their run of six games without a win. The Tshwane giants go into the clash in rampant form, having won five games on the trot.

A notable factor of Sundowns’ recent success has been the role of their experienced players.

Against Golden Arrows, Teko Modise was instrumental in securing the three points after he was brought on in the second half, and Mosimane will be counting on the veteran midfielder to deliver once again. Captain Hlompho Kekana as well as defender Motjeka Madisha have also been in top form for the Brazilians.

On the side of Wits, Hunt will be counting on the youthful exuberance of Phakamani Mahlambi and Gabadinho Mhango. The duo’s pace could prove a handful for the African champions on the night.

With so much at stake on Monday evening, the clash is destined to be an exciting affair.

However, Sundowns do have the psychological advantage. The last time the two sides met, Sundowns defeated Wits 2-0, and historically Sundowns have been the dominant team.

The two sides have faced off against each other on 25 occasions previously, with Sundowns claiming 15 victories, while Wits have only won six of the matches between the two sides.

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