Orlando Pirates will need less than the 60 points that won them the League last season
Posted: 23 April 2012 Time: 12:47 pm
Orlando Pirates will need less than the 60 points that won them the League last season if they are to retain their title as the League heads down to another year in which the champions will need less than two thirds points to lift the Premiership title.
With 90 points the maximum number of points attainable in a 16 team League, 60 points is the two thirds mark that always guarantees the title in South Africa. At the moment – with four games remaining – Pirates, as current leaders, is the only team that can reach the two thirds points mark of 60 points if they win all four games left. The Bucs have to deal with Ajax Cape Town (away), SuperSport United (away), Bloemfontein Celtic (home) and Golden Arrows (away) in their last four games. However, basing on the inconsistency that has become the anthem of the domestic league the reality is that this is a championship that will not even need 60 points for any of the clubs in contention to win it. Gavin Hunt and Gordon Igesund – the most successful coaches still coaching in the PSL with seven titles between them – have for long predicted that 56 points could as well be the points tally needed to win the League this season. Both Hunt’s SuperSport United and Igesund’s Moroka Swallows are two of the ‘foursome’ of teams along with Mamelodi Sundowns and Pirates that can still reach at least 56 points and that are genuinely still in contention. Since the number of teams in the PSL was trimmed down to 16 in the 2002/03 season, four of the nine championship seasons have been won by less than 60 points with SuperSport United needing less than 60 in all three of their title winning years. Mamelodi Sundowns also needed just 57 points to win the title in 2005/06. The lowest points tally that has won the championship since the number of teams was cut down to 16 has been 54 which SuperSport United attained on their way to winning the League in the 2007/08 season. Kaizer Chiefs needed the highest number of points with 63 to win the title in the 2003/04 season. The average points tally needed to win the League in the last nine years has been 58,89 points. SuperSport will play both Pirates and Sundowns in two of their last four matches both of which will be games that will have ‘title decider’ written all over them while they will also have to square up with Kaizer Chiefs and Bloemfontein Celtic – two clubs chasing top half 8 finishes. Swallows – still quietly confident and still in with a chance of sneaking in to win the League will have Golden Arrows, Black Leopards, Platinum Stars and Maritzburg United in their last four menu – all four opponents currently in the bottom half. For Sundowns – who have been stuttering so badly they have won just three out of 11 League games this year – they will face Santos, Chiefs, SuperSport and Free State Stars in their quartet of fixtures remaining that also appears tricky considering that The People’s Team wants to avoid the Play-Off spot while the other three have top half interests.