South African PSL Preview

With the domestic leagues returning after the international break, the ABSA Premiership enters its sixth round with Kaizer Chiefs setting the pace at the top of the table. We preview all eight fixtures this weekend.

Kaizer Chiefs 1/3 draw 7/2 University of Pretoria 7/1 
Table Toppers Kaizer Chiefs stretched their winning run to five matches by beating SuperSport United 2-0 at the FNB Stadium two weekends back. Chiefs turned on the style in the second-half and extended their lead at the top of the table to four points after five fixtures thanks to goals from Mandla Masango and Kingston Nkhatha. Stuart Baxter resisted any tinkering to his side, naming the same eleven that dispatched Platinum Stars in midweek. Their visitors on Saturday afternoon will be University of Pretoria who have managed just one win from 5 games, drawing twice. Chiefs have beaten AmaTuks in the last three meetings without conceding a goal. Back Chiefs to continue their 100% win record. 

Maritzburg 6/10 draw 5/2 Black Aces 9/2
Maritzburg continued their rise up the table last time out earning a point away to Free State Stars. Steve Komphela’s side have lost just once, winning twice and drawing twice. It’s their home record that has impressed this season with a 2-1 win over Polokwane followed by a 3-0 win over Chippa at the Harry Gwala Stadium. Their opponents have only managed one win and two draws from their five encounters, and more worryingly have managed only four goals in the process. Harry Gwala has been a difficult place to travel since Komphela took over and the Team of Choice managed a 2-0 win over Aces here last season. Back the home win.  

SuperSport 17/10 draw 18/10 Platinum Stars 17/10
SuperSport will host Platinum Stars in their first match with Gordon Igesund in charge since Cavin Johnson was given the boot. Igesund remains the only coach in South African football to have guided four different clubs to Premiership honours and with the quality at his disposal at Matsatsantsa the ex-Bafana coach can do just the same. Both sides have been struggling to score enough goals but Igesund should make an impact on his team here and they are available at a tasty 17/10 for the home win. 

Polokwane 17/10 draw 18/10 AmaZulu 17/10
Saturday evening sees a bottom of the log clash with 16th place AmaZulu travelling to face Polokwane City. Polokwane have managed one win, losing four times while AmaZulu are the only team in the league without a single win, sitting on two points. Polokwane have conceded the most goals in the league, 10, and AmaZulu’s strike force could finally come to the party here. They shared the spoils here last season but Usuthu are tipped to claim the away win this time. 

Orlando Pirates 7/10 draw 5/2 Bidvest Wits 7/2
One of two big clashes this weekend, Orlando Pirates face Bidvest Wits who they overcame over two legs in the MTN8 semi-finals, winning 5-1 on aggregate. Pirates moved into fifth position after building on their 3-0 whipping of Sundowns with another 3-0 away victory, this time over Polokwane.  Bidvest Wits claimed their third league win with a 3-0 victory over Swallows before the international break. Wits’ only loss this season came on the road (Ajax) and they could struggle again at Orlando Stadium where they also lost (3-1) in the MTN8. Pirates are on offer at a decent 7/10 for the win. 

Ajax Cape Town 7/10 draw 5/2 Free State Stars 7/2
A youthful Ajax Cape Town are flying high in second spot, unbeaten thus far, recording three victories and will be confident of a fourth when they host a Free State Stars side who usually struggle away from home. Free State Stars finished a place above the relegation zone last season, losing nine of their 15 travels, winning just three. The Urban Warriors have beaten them at home in the last two seasons and should make it three in a row here. 

Moroka Swallows 7/10 draw 5/2 Chippa United 7/2 
Swallows’ great start to the season didn’t last long but they still sit in a respectable fourth position with three wins and two losses. They were demolished 3-0 by Bidvest Wits before the international break and will host promoted Chippa at the Dobsonville Stadium on Sunday. After losing three consecutive matches Chippa managed a positive home draw with Ajax last time out and will be looking to go one further by winning here. They were unbeaten against Swallows in the league the last time they were in the PSL, winning at home and drawing away. The international break would have given Chippa time to reflect and improve in an attempt to get back to winning ways since their opening day 2-0 victory over Platinum Stars. Swallows looked poor against Wits and Chippa should come away with a point. 

Bloem Celtic 22/10 draw 2/1 Mamelodi Sundowns 5/4
Bloemfontein Celtic and Mamelodi Sundowns provide an exciting fixture on Sunday. Ernst Middendorp’s Celtic look to be a hard side to beat this season with only the log leaders managing to knock down Phunya Sele Sele so far this season, with Celtic drawing on three occasions. Packed with their passionate fans, Bloemfontein is never an easy place to travel. However, the league champions managed a 2-0 win over Swallows in their last away match. The Brazilians also have a good recent record against Celtic, beating them in the last three meetings and won 3-1 here last season. Sundowns should build on their 2-0 win against AmaZulu last time out and are tipped for the away win at 5/4. 

Written by Wayde Dorkin
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Soccer Pro’s PSL Picks
Chiefs WIN 1/3
Maritzburg WIN 6/10
SuperSport WIN 17/10
AmaZulu WIN 17/10
Pirates WIN 7/10
Ajax WIN 7/10
Swallows DRAW 5/2
Sundowns WIN 5/4