JOHANNESBURG – With Mamelodi Sundowns hot on their heels, Wits will be looking to extend their lead at the summit of the Premiership log standings when they visit neighbours Highlands Park at Makhulong Stadium on Saturday.
Wits top the log standings with 39 points from 19 league matches, and are three points clear of second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns who have two games in hand.
Games in hand are not points guaranteed in football, but the Brazilians’ dominance in both continental and domestic football is giving fellow league competitors something to worry about.
On paper, the Clever Boys’ short trip to Tembisa should be in their favour, having been rampant in their away trips so far.
Away from home, they’ve won seven out of their nine league matches – bagging 23 points out of 27.
However, it has been a gloomy experience for most of the teams that recently visited PSL returnees Highlands Park in Tembisa this season.
Defending champions Sundowns also had to huff and puff to grab all three points, while the rest of the Gauteng teams – SuperSport United, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs – all dropped points there.
In the opening round, the Clever Boys bagged all the spoils from the Lions of the North at Bidvest Stadium. But a lot has happened since then.
Owen da Gama and his charges have proven that they are not back in the top flight merely to add numbers.
Highlands are 10th on the log, and three points on Saturday will ensure that they push themselves closer to the top eight.
Furthermore, a winning feeling is something that has eluded the Tembisa-based club, having last registered three points against Bloemfontein Celtic on December 17.
On the other hand, this will be the perfect chance for Da Gama’s team to play with more freedom after the curtains came down on the mid-season transfer window without the movement of any of his key players.
⚽️ @HighlandsP_FC vs @BidvestWits
🏟️ Makhulong Stadium
📅 09 February 2019
🕗 15H30#siyabangenasiyabahlaba @Hatfield_Group @HatfieldVW_Pta @City_Ekurhuleni @OfficialPSL pic.twitter.com/3xpUHcIIPZ
— Highlands Park FC (@HighlandsP_FC) February 8, 2019
Mothobi Mvala, the league’s second-best goal-scorer with seven strikes so far, will be eager to get his scoring boots back on, especially after top scorer, Zambian Mwape Musonda (eight goals), failed to find the back of the net in two successive matches.
This Joburg derby between Highlands Park and Wits will also bring thrills to what is already a glittering weekend in the PSL, as the country will be at a standstill due to the Soweto Derby at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
Both derbies will kick off at 3.30pm.
Wits and Pirates will be able to play their normal game, as there will be no pressure to play catch-up football.