No club in South Africa has won more Premiership titles than Mamelodi Sundowns. In the Premiership era – which began in 1996 – Mamelodi have won ten titles, adding to the three National Soccer League trophies they acquired before this rebranding. Other clubs have tasted glory in that time – after all, there have been 24 titles up for grabs – but none as dominant as Mamelodi, who often win consecutive championships.
They won three in a row in the late 90s, two in a row in the mid-noughties, and now, on their current win streak, Mamelodi are seeking their fourth in succession. It looks like they will get it too, although these are early days. After ten games of the campaign, they are top of the table with 24 points. Seven wins and three draws mean that they maintain an unbeaten record. By any measure, that sounds formidable. However, there is another club with an unbeaten record only two points behind.
Moroka Swallows is a Soweto-based club promoted to the Premiership in 2020. Before being relegated in 2015, they had a proud record of competing in every rebranded top-flight season. But given that they rarely challenged for the title, ‘competing’ may be a stretch. Relegation looks to have had a good effect on the club. They have returned to the top tier hardened and unafraid of any opponent. Undefeated in their opening ten games, they have won six and averaged 1.4 goals per match.
Many of those goals have come from Ruzaigh Gamildien, the veteran midfielder finding the back of the net on eight occasions, five of which came in his most recent four appearances. Mamelodi are slightly ahead in the title race thanks to a superior away record. The two are equals at home, though. An identical record of four wins and one draw from five games show that both clubs know how to use their surroundings.
The consensus is that while Moroka have made a superb start to the campaign, they will fall behind soon until they are eventually out of the title picture altogether. But isn’t that how all underdog stories go? It’s part and parcel of a tremendous against-all-odds triumph.
And you can certainly get good odds on Moroka defying their critics. Nigerian bookmaker Bet9ja provides extensive coverage of the South African Premiership for punters who wish to wager, be it on favourite or underdog.
You can choose to bet on the outright winner of the title or follow the action every week, using the classic football phraseology of taking it ‘game-by-game’.
Bet9ja currently offers a welcome bonus to every new customer, the details of which are covered by Sporty Trader here. Mark January 23rd in your calendar for the next big match of the title race, a Saturday in which Moroka Swallows travel to Mamelodi Sundowns.