South African PSL Preview

The break is over, the festive season was a blast, but now it’s time to get back to the footballing world. The PSL will get right into the thick of things with reigning champions Kaizer Chiefs playing host to table-toppers Mamelodi Sundowns in a potential title decider, while Bidvest Wits and Black Aces will look to keep the pressure on the log leaders. At the bottom of the table, Maritzburg United and University of Pretoria are separated by a matter of goal-difference as the relegation dog fight continues. First tip: Under 2.5 Goals is almost a sure bet in this league, as the average amount of goals per game sits at 2.3. It’s a new year, with new beginnings, so let’s try starting the year on a high, finding good value for your money. 

Friday 8 January

11/10 Ajax Cape Town | Draw 2/1 | Bloemfontein Celtic 5/2 (20:00) 

Gameweek 13 begins in Cape Town on Friday night with Ajax taking on Bloemfontein Celtic. Ajax are currently struggling in the bottom half of the table in 12th place, with just three wins from a possible 10 games. They have lost three matches on the trot and can’t afford to drop any points here. Celtic haven’t been much better, suffering back-to-back defeats, as they remain without a win in their last six games. Ajax are unbeaten against Celtic in the last 12 meetings at home, winning 10 times. The home win is well worth a punt.

Saturday 9 January

14/10 University of Pretoria | 2/1 | Jomo Cosmos 19/10 (15:30)

Second to last placed University of Pretoria will have the perfect chance to make ground on the teams above them when they take on one of the league’s worst teams on the road – Jomo Cosmos. Ezenkosi are without a win away from home, scoring a measly two goals and conceding eight times. AmaTuks, however, have lost five of their six matches on their ground, scoring just three times. This one has all the looks of an untidy, poor excuse for a footballing match, making the draw all the more easier to call at 2/1. 

11/10 Orlando Pirates | 2/1 | Platinum Stars 5/2 (15:30) 

Orlando Pirates will look to find the form that saw them reach the CAF Confederations Cup final, as well as win the MTN8, in a bid to get their top four ambitions back on track. Platinum Stars have lacked the mentality to maintain winning form. They were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw on home soil last time out against bottom-dwellers Maritzburg United, extending their winless streak to three matches. The Buccaneers haven’t been at their best in the league, but they are tipped to get back to their best, starting with a victory on Saturday afternoon.  

11/10 Free State Stars | 2/1 | Golden Arrows 5/2 (15:30) 

Depending on other results, a win here for Free State Stars would take them from 10th place up to 6th, leapfrogging their opponents Golden Arrows in the process. However, Ea Lla Koto have found goals hard to come by in recent matches, while Arrows have won three of their last five games. Abafana Bes'thende have looked dangerous on the counter-attack this season and I’m backing them to do enough to come away with maximum points.  

16/10 Kaizer Chiefs | 19/10 | Mamelodi Sundowns 18/10 (20:15) 

Click here for our full match preview!

7/10 Black Aces | 22/10 | Polokwane City 38/10 (20:15) 

Black Aces, along with Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits, remain the only unbeaten teams at home in the league. That record will be tested by Polokwane at the weekend, but their away form doesn’t fair well, as they have lost five of their seven travels, scoring five goals and conceding 11 times. Third-placed Black Aces are on a three match winning streak, scoring six goals and conceding just one in the process. That form is tipped to continue, as Amazayoni look to keep the pressure on Sundowns and Wits in first and second place.

Sunday 10 January

13/20 SuperSport | 23/10 | Maritzburg United 4/1 (15:30) 

SuperSport will lock horns with relegation-threatened Maritzburg United on Sunday afternoon. Matsatsantsa are undefeated in their last five matches, including two on the bounce. The Team of Choice have managed just one win from 12 matches this term, scoring nine goals and conceding 24 times. Their away form has been terrible, losing four of their six games. SuperSport won the last meeting between the sides, claiming a 1-0 win at Maritzburg. They look the better team at present and should have enough quality to take maximum points here.  

22/10 Chippa United | 2/1 | Bidvest Wits 12/10 (15:30) 

Chippa United claimed a 2-1 win at home to Bloemfontein Celtic last time out, while Bidvest Wits fell to a 2-1 defeat at Kaizer Chiefs. Chippa will be eager to make it consecutive wins here, while breaking into the top eight. Wits on the other hand will have the chance to go top of the log, depending on the encounter between Chiefs and Sundowns. This makes for a very entertaining affair, however, given what is at stake, Wits might just have more determination to bag all three points.

PSL Picks
Ajax WIN 11/10
Uni. of Pretoria DRAW 2/1
Orlando Pirates WIN 11/10
Golden Arrows WIN 5/2
Kaizer Chiefs DRAW 19/10
Black Aces WIN 7/10
SuperSport WIN 13/20
Bidvest Wits WIN 12/10

Written by Aaron Crowie