Our football analyst looks at three so-called small teams which could shockingly challenge for the 2018/19 PSL title.
Fairy tales and Cinderella stories make football the beautiful game! We are still talking about Maritzbug United’s fantastic last season, Leicester City’s title-winning campaign, Arsenal’s invincible season, Manning Rangers and Santos winning the league under the tutelage of Gordon Igesund and Bidvest Wits unexpectedly pipping Mamelodi Sundowns to the title two seasons ago. Which surprise package should we keep an eye out for this time? Let’s take a look.
Free State Stars – 33/1
Ea Lla Koto is coached by the experienced Luc Eymael who has vast African experience. The Belgian mentor won them their first trophy in the Premier Soccer League era when they beat Maritzburg United in the Nedbank Cup final. It wasn’t the first time he did wonders with a small team as he helped Gabonese side, Missile, win their first ever league title in 2011. He has also won the title with big clubs such as AS Vita Club. His tactical flexibility shows that he can coach any team and employ a strategy that suits the players he has at his disposal. With a few good signings, the team can do even better than last season.
Chippa United – 100/1
Dan “Dance” Malesela is known for his passing game which he instilled in his charges a few years ago and he is back with the Chilli Boys. This time, they have signed the likes of serial winner, Daine Klate, Thabo Nthethe and Jabulani Shongwe who bring a wealth of experience. Thamsanqa Sangweni’s return will also be a big plus as he understands the coach’s philosophy. The Chilli boys will give the big guns a run for their money even though they don’t have enough firepower in their arsenal to challenge for top honours.
Highlands Park – 50/1
The Lions of the North did well to hold on to their Absa Premiership players when the team got relegated last season which made it easy for them to bounce back. Owen da Gama understands South African football very well and signing of experienced Bevan Fransman shows that they mean business. This team will have a really good season and the so-called big teams have to watch out.