After one of the most exciting and closely contested Premier Soccer League (PSL) seasons in 2011/12, another potentially more exciting season is around the corner. The 2012/2013 season is set to start on 11 August with 16 teams facing off across South Africa.

Orlando Pirates will look to retain the trophy, after winning back-to-back titles. Pirates have been South Africa’s top side over the last few years, having won no fewer than seven trophies. Pirates’ fierce rivals Kaizer Chiefs will look to beat them to the title. Chiefs are aiming to win their first league title since 2004/2005. Other teams that will look to reign supreme are last year’s runners-up Moroka Swallows, along with big-spending Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United.

Pirates and Chiefs have both had solid pre-seasons, both winning separate pre-season cups. Over the weekend, Chiefs won the inaugural Gauteng Cup against Wits, while Pirates won the Mbombela Super Cup against Mamelodi Sundowns. Chiefs will be under the guidance of former South African coach Stuart Baxter.

Another team that will try to prove their worth is Ajax Cape Town. The club from Cape Town came close to PSL glory two seasons ago, but struggled to regain that form last year. With an impressive performance against a strong Manchester United outfit in the MTN Football Invitational, it seems that this could be their season. After signing Bradley Grobler from Turkish outfit FK Goztepe, the team could surely be more of force come the start of the season.

Moroka Swallows must count on veteran striker Siyabonga Nomvethe if they are to pose a threat this season. The Bafana Bafana ace was the league’s best player and top scorer last season with 19 goals and their chances of success will rest squarely on his shoulders.The new PSL season will not only contain a potential close fight for the title, but also for survival. Newly promoted AmaTuks and Chippa United will be keen to show their worth in South Africa’s top soccer tournament. AmaTuks join fellow university side Wits in the PSL after winning the National First Division title. AmaTuks kick off their maiden campaign in the PSL against Kwazulu-Natal side Maritzburg United at the Absa Tuks Stadium. Having lost an astonishing 18 players in the off-season, AmaTuks are a much-changed outfit from the team that won promotion. Chippa United secured a PSL spot after beating Thanda Royal Zulu and Santos in the play-offs.

Photo: Kobus Barnard

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