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Kaizer Chiefs can catch up with Mamelodi Sundowns in the PSL title race - Bunjira

20:29 GMT+3 06/01/2022
Kaizer Chiefs vs Mamelodi Sundowns.
The former Masandawana forward has explained why he thinks the Soweto giants could recover in their trailing of the long leaders

Former Zimbabwe international Alois Bunjira believes Kaizer Chiefs are well placed to close the gap opened by Premier Soccer League leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.

Placed fourth on the standings, Amakhosi trail Sundowns by 16 points and have played three games fewer including the two fixtures against Cape Town City and Golden Arrows they failed to honour.

If Chiefs manage to play those two matches and one other game in hand, Bunjira feels they can give Sundowns a serious challenge in the title race.

“If you asked about five games ago, I would have said none between Orlando Pirates or Kaizer Chiefs would catch up with Sundowns,” Bunjira told GOAL.

“But right now you see Chiefs are three games behind and they can actually go to 37 points if they will those three games. This is not guaranteed though, but they can do it. That means they would be seven points behind Sundowns with about 11 games to go.

“Why am I saying it’s possible for Chiefs. It’s because it looks like Sundowns have hit a snag. They lost one game and drew in a period that is very crucial. You can actually try to think that probably Sundowns are struggling and this is a time Chiefs can take advantage of the situation right now.”

A slip up saw Masandawana going into the mid-season break fresh from their first defeat of the season by AmaZulu and a draw against struggling Marumo Gallants.

While Chiefs are fourth, their Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates are second on the standings 14 points behind Masandawana.

Bunjira is, however, not giving the Buccaneers any chance of catching up with Sundowns.

“But if you look at Orlando Pirates who have the same number of games as Sundowns but are 14 points adrift, it looks like it’s a mountain to climb,” said Bunjira.

“With 11 games to go, I don't see them clawing back from 14 points to catch up. As much as Pirates try, they are out of the title race. But Kaizer Chiefs are still in with a shout. If they win their three games, they will just be seven points behind, that is an achievable gap.

“They can close it. For Pirates, they just have to hang on and fight for second spot so they can have a go at the Champions League.”

If both the Soweto giants fail to close in on the Brazilians, a brutal battle for finishing the campaign as runners-up to earn a Caf Champions League berth could be witnessed.

Bunjira does not want to see his former club Masandawana cruising to a fifth straight league title and is keen to see them being given a stern challenge by Chiefs and Pirates.

“But if Sundowns regain their momentum and maintain the standard they set at the beginning of the season, I’m sure they will comfortably win the league. But if they drop more points and Kaizer Chiefs are consistent, then it will be a very tight race,’ Bunjira said.

“You never know, anything can happen. Let’s just see if we can have a three or two-horse race. We don’t want a situation whereby Sundowns win the league with five games to go. That would be very boring.

“Yes, I’m a Sundowns fan and I want them to win the league but I want competition. I want the race to be tight so that we can have an exciting end to this season.”