South African PSL Preview

The ABSA Premiership returns after a weekend break for the Nedbank Cup. Kaizer Chiefs seem to be losing their momentum at the top of the table and suffered their first loss of the season at SuperSport United last week. Sundowns will look to extend their long unbeaten run and hope Chiefs can slip up a couple more times this season, but the Brazilians will face a tough test for three points as they will travel to play a dangerous Wits side.   

Ajax 7/10 | Draw 23/10 | Chippa 4/1
Ajax will meet Chippa United on Friday night in what use to be a Cape Derby before the Chilli Boys relocated to Port Elizabeth this season. Ajax have been in bad form in the league, failing to win a match in their last seven. Chippa have travelled poorly, losing six of their nine travels, winning just twice. The first round clash was drawn 1-1 with Ajax coming back late to claim a point. Although Ajax have been in bad form, they have only lost one match at the Cape Town Stadium in the league, conceding a mere six goals in 10 home matches. Back Ajax to end their winless run. 

Uni. of Pretoria 13/10 | Draw 22/10 | Black Aces 19/10
University of Pretoria seem to be coping well without departed coach Steve Barker. AmaTuks are unbeaten in the least seven games and beat Chippa 2-1 in their last home match. They will host Clive Barker’s Mpumalanga Black Aces who are in the opposite end of the form table, winless in their last five matches having lost three of their last four games. University of Pretoria have been weak at home overall. They have managed just two home wins from nine games, losing four times and scoring a measly seven goals. Black Aces are coming off a 2-1 home win against Maritzburg in the Nedbank Cup. The draw is tipped. 

Orlando Pirates 6/10 | Draw 24/10 | Polokwane 48/10
Orlando Pirates are unbeaten in six league games, winning their last three matches to move within just five points of second place. They will host a Polokwane team that lie just a place below them in fifth, but four points adrift. The big difference between these sides is their defence. Polokwane have conceded 34 goals this season, double the amount Pirates have let in. The Buccaneers have won their last four home games and have already beaten Polokwane twice this season. Back them for another home win.   

Maritzburg 1/1 | Draw 22/10 | Free State Stars 26/10
Steve Komphela will face his old club at the Harry Gwala Stadium. His Maritzburg United team have dropped down to ninth spot on the table after failing to win a match in their last six. They will see this game as a perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways as Free State Stars are doing no better and have been very poor on their travels, losing seven times and winning just once from 10 games. The Team of Choice won this game 3-2 last season and should manage another win this time. 

SuperSport 5/10 | Draw 5/2 | AmaZulu 6/1
SuperSport United have started 2015 in good fashion. After finding their feet in their first game back against Free State Stars, drawing 2-2, Matsatsantsa went on to beat Black Aces away from home and then inflicted Kaizer Chiefs’ first league loss of the season with a 2-0 home win. While SuperSport will enter this match full of confidence, AmaZulu are coming off a humiliation. The bottom of the log side were beaten 2-1 by fellow Durban side Golden Arrows in the Nedbank Cup last Friday night. Usuthu have won just one game all season and that win came at home. After beating the log leaders at home I see nothing but another three points for SuperSport here. 

Bloem Celtic 11/10 | Draw 22/10 | Platinum Stars 23/10
Both these sides are coming off 3-0 home wins against third tier clubs. The reverse fixture was drawn 0-0 and another draw looks the best result Platinum Stars could achieve here. Dikwena have lost six of their nine travels this season, winning just twice. However, Bloemfontein Celtic have not been convincing at home thus far, winning only three times and drawing four of their nine matches. Although they beat bottom of the log AmaZulu at home last time out, they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Wits and played out a goalless draw with Moroka Swallows at home in December. Both sides struggle for goals and a draw looks a likely outcome here. 

Wits 18/10 | Draw 22/10 | Sundowns 14/10
Wits will host Sundowns on Tuesday night in what is a cracker of a fixture. Wits currently lie second on the table, a place and three points above their opponents. The Clever Boys are unbeaten in their last seven games, winning five times, while the Brazilians are unbeaten in the last 14 games at the time of writing (before playing AmaZulu on Wednesday) and have won their last three encounters. The reverse fixture was drawn 0-0 in October. Wits played host to Free State Stars in the Nedbank Cup last Saturday and failed to score after extra-time, managing to progress via penalty shootouts. Sundowns were dealt an easier opponent in Thanda and eased to a 2-0 win. Wits will need to improve on that poor showing against Free State Stars if they are to take any points off a Sundowns team that are looking difficult to beat. I’m backing Pitso Mosimane’s charges to end Wits’ unbeaten run and leapfrog them in the table.

Written by Wayde Dorkin
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Soccer Pro’s Picks
Ajax WIN 7/10
Uni. Of Pretoria DRAW 22/10
Pirates WIN 6/10
Maritzburg WIN 1/1
SuperSport WIN 5/10
Bloem Celtic DRAW 22/10
Sundowns WIN 14/10