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Why Sundowns are favourites to win the league — again

Sundowns celebrate with the DStv Premiership trophy on May 23 2022.
Sundowns celebrate with the DStv Premiership trophy on May 23 2022.
Image: Darren Stewart/Gallo Images

Less transfer disruptions to the rampant team that easily won their fifth successive DStv Premiership title last season will work in favour of Mamelodi Sundowns this season.

The Brazilians have confirmed the arrival of Ronwen Williams and Sipho Mbule from SuperSport United and the arrival of Moroccan central defender Abdel Moneim Boutawil and Ethiopian striker Abubeker Nassir are imminent.

Midfielders George Maluleka and Sibusiso Vilakazi have left the club, and Grant Margeman, Ricardo Goss and Divine Lunga are out on loan while troubled Phakamani Mahlambi has been released.

The Brazilians start their campaign with a tricky clash against Cape Town City on Friday night as they embark on the daunting mission of winning the league championship for a sixth time.

The arrival of Bafana Bafana captain Williams will provide much needed competition in the goalkeeping department which includes veterans Denis Onyango and Kennedy Mweene.

There is also Reyaad Pieterse who will be pushing to get game time as the season progresses.

Good news for Sundowns is that key players from last season, Rushine De Reuck, Lyle Lakay, Khuliso Mudau, Andile Jali, Themba Zwane and Peter Shalulile, have been retained for another assault on the title.

A lot will also be expected from the likes of Teboho Mokoena, Sphelele Mkhulise, Aubrey Modiba, Lebohang Maboe, Gift Motupa, Kermit Erasmus and Thabiso Kutumela who were in and out of the team last season.

Another factor in Sundowns' favour is that the three co-coaches, Manqoba Mngqithi, Steve Komphela and Rulani Mokwena, will continue to steer the ship this season.

Other teams have boosted their squads significantly, but the advantage is with Sundowns as they have experienced players capable of playing in different competitions.

Rivals Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United have new coaches in Arthur Zwane, Jose Riveiro and Gavin Hunt respectively, and they have been busy in the transfer market.

Other teams such as Sekhukhune United, AmaZulu, Richards Bay, Marumo Gallants, Royal AM, Maritzburg United, TS Galaxy, Swallows, Cape Town City and Stellenbosch have also recruited wisely.

Recently, Onyango said not having too many players coming through helps them with continuity.

“We don’t have that many new numbers, so combinations look good. It is good be having the same numbers, with maybe two to three new players, because it helps the coaching staff to have continuity.

“I hope continuity will help us to continue where we left off last season, and we are looking forward to the first game of the season,” said Onyango.



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