Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns are the favourites to win the 2020-21 league title‚ says Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer.
As the first DStv-titled league season nears‚ the 2020-21 campaign kicks off first this coming weekend with a cup competition – the MTN8. Last season’s third-placed Premiership finishers Pirates meet sixth-placed Cape Town City in Saturday’s quarterfinal at Orlando Stadium.
In a pre-match press conference on Wednesday for that cup tie Zinnbauer picked last season’s Premiership champions Sundowns – even though they have lost iconic coach Pitso Mosimane – and runners-up Chiefs as the favourites for the coming league season.
“Sundowns won the treble last year‚ and they have lost the coach‚ but he earned this move. He did a good job and I’m happy that he could find a top club in Africa‚” Zinnbauer said of Mosimane’s move to Egyptian giants Al Ahly.
“But he‚ and the squad that he had‚ won three titles last season at Sundowns. And that’s normal that they are the favourites.
“We cannot say now‚ ‘Sundowns are not the favourites’. They have‚ I don’t know‚ 40 or 50 players with top qualities in their squad.
“Kaizer Chiefs finished in second place. They were in the top position for a long‚ long time‚ and in the last game they lost that position.
“They were in second place‚ and it is normal that we now say that both teams will fight for the title.
“But we have a chance. We are behind these clubs [where Pirates finished in 2019-20].
“And maybe behind us are also other clubs who also maybe want to fight for a title or a trophy this year.
“But for me it’s Sundowns or Chiefs who are the favourites this season.”
Chiefs led the 2019-20 league season for almost the entire campaign but could not beat Baroka FC on the final day (1-1 draw) to clinch the trophy‚ allowing Sundowns to sneak Mosimane’s fifth championship at the club with a 3-0 win against Black Leopards.
Downs won the Nedbank Cup a week later to wrap up a treble‚ having won the Telkom Knockout in December.
Mosimane left Downs two weeks ago to join Ahly‚ with Steve Komphela‚ Manqoba Mngqithi and Rulani Mokwena taking over the reigns at the Brazilians.
Chiefs have replaced last campaign’s coach Ernst Middendorp with four-time Premiership winner Gavin Hunt.
TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)