Who is really leading the charge in the PSL?
With the South African Premier Soccer League fixtures again thrown into a shambles by SuperSport United's run to the CAF Confederation Cup Final, it is tough to gauge just who is in command in the title race this season.
SuperSport have played half the number of matches (six) of leaders Baroka FC, and while there is something to be said for getting points on the board, it is clear that the Limpopo club are in something of a false position.
KweséESPN takes a look at the number of points per game that each club has managed this season, and used that to formulate a revised table to better understand the lay of the land.
It makes for interesting reading, showing more clearly the picture at the top, and showing too the 'real', more dire, situation that Kaizer Chiefs find themselves in.
Using average points per game shoots SuperSport to the top of the table as they are the only side averaging more than two this season. Their 13 points from six matches is an average of 2.17, making them comfortable leaders at the top.
Behind them is Mamelodi Sundowns (1.78) and it would appear that it is these two who will be fighting for the title come May, with the rest of the pack some way back and showing inconsistent form.
Sundowns clearly have the right staying power, having won the league twice in the last four years, but they are also facing a serious overhaul of personnel in January that will likely see them lose forwards Khama Billiat and Leonardo Castro.
They will be replaced, but how long it takes the new names to bed in will be the big question.
There are also a few riders to SuperSport's lofty position -- it is from a small sample of matches and they will be tired and weary after their exploits in African club competition, which could really come back to bite them from February through to May.
With just a short break for the festive season this year, there will also be little time for recovery.
Remarkably too, five of SuperSport's six matches in the league so far have been at home, meaning they still have 14 away days to contend with and will likely find points harder to pick up.
But even with all these negatives, they have the players and the coach in Eric Tinkler to challenge, and it would be a surprise where they not in the mix come May.
Chiefs are currently in sixth position, just three points off top spot, but in the revised points per game table they drop to eight.
Their projected 30-game points total would also only be 40, some way back from SuperSport (65) and Sundowns (53). They would need an extraordinary run of form to get themselves into a winning position but, looking at their squad, you wonder where that is going to come from.
Orlando Pirates drop from their current second position to fifth on the revised points-per-game table, showing that they too are well off the pace.
Baroka FC drop to third, with Cape Town City in fourth, though the latter's form has dipped and wins seem much harder to come by.
The picture does not change too much at the foot of the table, though. Platinum Stars would be automatically relegated as things stand, though they will view that as a false situation as form has improved under coach Roger de Sa after a horror start to the season.
Bidvest Wits would occupy the relegation play-off position, with Ajax Cape Town just above them. Given their quality, it is inconceivable that the former will still be in the relegation mix come May, so that will drag the likes of Polokwane City, Maritzburg United, Free State Stars and AmaZulu above them into the scrap.
ABSA PREMIERSHIP POINTS PER GAME TABLE
1. SuperSport United - 2.17 (13 from 6)
2. Mamelodi Sundowns - 1.78 per game (16 from 9)
3. Baroka FC - 1.58 per game (19 from 12)
4. Cape Town City - 1.55 (17 from 11)
5. Orlando Pirates - 1.50 per game (18 from 12)
6. Golden Arrows - 1.42 per game (17 from 12)
7. Bloemfontein Celtic - 1.45 per game (16 from 11)
8. Kaizer Chiefs - 1.33 per game (16 from 12)
9. Chippa United - 1.33 per game (16 from 12)
10. AmaZulu - 1.27 per game (14 from 11)
11. Free State Stars - 1.18 per game (13 from 11)
12. Maritzburg United - 1.10 per game (11 from 10)
13. Polokwane City - 1.00 per game (11 from 11)
14. Ajax Cape Town - 0.82 per game (9 from 11)
15. Bidvest Wits - 0.82 per game (9 from 11)
16. Platinum Stars - 0.75 per game (9 from 12)