With the 2021/22 DStv Premiership season set to commence in less than two weeks' time, here is a look at which clubs appear to have the toughest and easiest starts to the campaign.
South Africa's top-flight domestic competition is set to return to television screens across the country next weekend when all 16 DStv Premiership teams take to the pitch for their opening round of league fixtures.
Scroll through the gallery to see which clubs have the toughest start to the DStv Premiership season
In anticipation of the league's commencement, Kick Off has calculated which clubs mathematically have the most challenging start to the campaign by using a metric that assigns a difficulty rating to their respective fixtures based on their first five opponents' league placings from last season.
Sundowns, who are the reigning champions, have accordingly been allocated a difficulty rating of one, while newly-promoted Sekhukhune United have been allocated 16, meaning the lower the number, the more challenging the encounters.
Last season's runners-up, AmaZulu, emerge from the study as the team with the most challenging start to the season after Usuthu were scheduled to face Sundowns, Swallows FC, SuperSport United, Golden Arrows and Baroka, all of whom placed in the top 10 during the 2020/21 season.
Swallows trail closely behind, with a fixture list that includes clashes against Bloemfontein Celtic, AmaZulu, Orlando Pirates, SuperSport United and Cape Town City, while Matsatsantsa have been tasked with the third most difficult start to the new season.
Meanwhile, newcomers Sekhukhune received what is comfortably the most favourable draw after being pitted against five of the six remaining teams from outside the top 10 last season, including Chippa United, Maritzburg United, Stellenbosch FC, Baroka FC and Golden Arrows.