At first glance, the weekend’s PSL fixture between Maritzburg United and Kaizer Chiefs might look like it’s a straightforward conclusion. Amakhosi are flying high, full of confidence at the top of the table. United, although plucky, aren’t exactly imposing.
But there’s one niggling fact that might be in the back Amakhosi’s minds as they set off on their travels. Their last loss in all competitions – and one of just two losses in ten games – came against Maritzburg. That was a defeat in the League Cup, little over a month ago on 24 November.
Whatever happens, though, Chiefs’ top spot will remain secure until the league returns from its break. With 34 points, the buffer between them and defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns on 25 points, is enough to ensure they head into 2020 in a comfortable position.
There are, however, a few interesting numbers at stake. A win for the hosts would end Kaizer Chiefs’ eight-match winning streak in the league and be their first away loss this season.
A win for Chiefs, though, would make it their 11th consecutive match without a draw. Just once so far in the league have the Soweto side ended with scores level in a league match.
Chiefs are also on a scoring hot streak, but that’s where it gets interesting. Maritzburg are one of just two teams in the league to date (Wits being the other) who have conceded fewer than ten goals. They’ve conceded just nine. But there’s some bad news, too.
Maritzburg United vs Kaizer Chiefs: Average season head-to-head
Maritzburg have struggled to score (just eight goals in the league) and have conceded the bulk of those nine goals at home – six out of the nine conceded have been on home turf.
Maritzburg United vs Kaizer Chiefs: Goals scored and conceded
The graphic below shows the average number of goals scored by Maritzburg United at home and by Kaizer Chiefs when playing away from home. The second graphic shows the totals for the same for the season so far.
Equally precarious is how little time on average Chiefs have trailed in the league this season. The chart below details the average minutes both sides have spent level, leading and behind, specifically in home games for Maritzburg United and away games for Kaizer Chiefs.
United are clearly in for a tough afternoon. But, as they have shown before, nothing is impossible in the PSL.