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Statistical revelation by Pirates coach rules Chiefs out of the title race? [Opinion]

When a team is on-form early in the season, it's always been said that it doesn't matter how you start but it's how you finish.

However, Mamelodi Sundowns, who have won the league title for a record four times in a row, have shown us that actually it matters most how you start, as it determines how you finish.

The Brazilians have now opened a four-point gap at the top of the table, which is a big lead after six rounds of matches and following a 2-0 loss to Sundowns, that was followed by a 1-1 draw with Cape Town City, Orlando Pirates co-head coach Mandla Ncikazi has shed light on the general trend of a league-winning team at this stage of the season.

"If you calculate that after five games, a team that wins the championship in South Africa should be on ten points and I think we were two points behind," Ncikazi said after the match, as quoted by Kickoff.

Sundowns co-head coach Manqoba Mngqithi also revealed last season, that their objectives for the season runs in a cycle of five matches, where they plan to get as many points as they can, 15 being the maximum.

"Our focus is not smelling [the league title] or getting it, our focus is on our processes," Mngqithi was quoted as saying by Goal.

"We were playing our first match of our last cycle and we are happy that we got maximum points. In the next four games, we are still expected to get probably a minimum of nine points which will make us to be very happy with the cycle. 

"It would be nice to get 15 points. But our focus is more on that process, more than focusing on what the log table [looks like]."  

Indeed, this season, after five matches Sundowns had 13 points, which makes them clear favourites.

As Ncikazi has stated, after five matches, Pirates had eight points, which means after five matches, they were five points behind Sundowns and now that gap has widened to seven points, after the Brazilians thumped Swallows while the Buccaneers dropped points against the Citizens.

For those who are interested, after five matches Kaizer Chiefs had five points, which is a bad return for a team that has ambitions of winning the league title.

As we speak now, Chiefs are ten points behind Sundowns on the log, which potentially just rules them out of the title race, unless they pick up some remarkable form and even if they catch some form, they will still need the Brazilians to drop points.

Pirates still have a chance but given Sundowns' pedigree of winning league matches, it's now a hope of catching up with them more than anything else.

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Brazilians Chiefs Mamelodi Sundowns Mandla Ncikazi Orlando Pirates


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