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'Fiat 500 in F1 race' - Middendorp doesn't rate Kaizer Chiefs & Orlando Pirates' PSL title chances

4:12 am AEDT 5/1/23
Phathutshedzo Nange, Monnapule Saleng, Yusuf Maart, Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates, November 2022
Swallows coach Ernst Middendorp says the Premier Soccer League title race has already been decided and Mamelodi Sundowns can start celebrating.
  • Sundowns opened a seven-point PSL lead
  • Chiefs, Pirates trail Downs by 10 & 15 points respectively
  • Middendorp feels the title is already in Downs' hands

WHAT HAPPENED? Sundowns beat Middendorp’s side 2-0 at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday to go seven points clear of second-placed SuperSport United. They now have 10 points more than Kaizer Chiefs who are fourth on the table and 15 better than Orlando Pirates.

Middendorp says the title bid is already over as he feels no team will catch up with the Brazilians who are in the quest for a record-extending sixth straight championship.

WHAT MIDEENDORP SAID: “It is only May but they can celebrate with what I have seen today [Tuesday]. For me, it is clear they have already won the league — if they don’t continue with the way they are going at the moment they will only destroy themselves," said Middendorp as per TimesLive.

“They are too smart, too clever and the resources are there — this championship is done for the season. It is the reality because of the resources they have, the players they have and their fitness, cohesion and very good understanding.

“You cannot play shoeshine [attractive] soccer when you don’t have the resources, you cannot go with a Fiat 500 and expect to win Formula One. Stick to your resources, to what you have and then develop it.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: It is to be seen if either Chiefs or Pirates can stage a sensational fightback to deny Masandawana the league crown. If the Soweto giants fail to do so, it could be yet another season of the Sundowns reigning supreme on the domestic scene.

Sundowns being crowned PSL champions again could mean Chiefs and Pirates failed in their strategies of player transfers, coaches recruitments and playing methods.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR CHIEFS, PIRATES & DOWNS? Masandawana will be back in action on Friday as they visit third-placed Richards Bay to complete a three-match programme in seven days.

For Chiefs, they host Sekhkhune United on Saturday, the same day Pirates will be in the Mother City to play Cape Town City.