South African PSL Preview

The South African PSL is beginning to heat up with Bidvest Wits at the summit of the table on 29 points, with Mamelodi Sundowns and Black Aces three points adrift. The Brazilians are above Muhsin Ertugral’s side in second place, averaging a better goal difference. Reigning champions Kaizer Chiefs are fourth on the table on 22 points, seven points behind leaders Gavin Hunt’s Clever Boys, while Orlando Pirates find themselves languishing in 12 place following their dreadful run. Eric Tinkler’s side have a home tie with University of Pretoria on Wednesday, while Golden Arrows welcome Ajax Cape Town to King Zwelithini Stadium the same day – but this preview was written prior to their midweek games. 

Friday 15 January

11/10 Bidvest Wits | Draw 22/10 | Black Aces 23/10 (20:00)

The Clever Boys will welcome Black Aces to Bidvest Stadium on Friday night in what promises to be a cracking contest. Gavin Hunt’s side are top of the PSL standings on 29 points, while their opponents, Black Aces, are just three points behind in third place. Wits bounced back from their defeat at Kaizer Chiefs with a comfortable 3-1 win over Chippa United last Sunday. The Clever Boys will return to Bidvest Stadium unbeaten in four matches with three wins, including two on the spin. Amazayoni come into the clash with four straight wins, keeping three clean sheets in the process. In what should be a tight affair, I’m tipping Wits to capitalize on home advantage. 

Saturday 16 January

13/10 Golden Arrows | 21/10 | Chippa United 2/1 (15:30)

Golden Arrows have looked impressive since the arrival of Clinton Larsen having won successive matches against Polokwane City and Free State Stars. The Backheel Boys will be looking to make it three in a row against Dan Malesela’s struggling side. Chippa United have lost three of their last four games, with leaders Wits the latest side to beat them. The Chilli Boys have lost four of their five away games this season, scoring eight times while conceding 14 goals. Golden Arrows are tipped to make easy pickings of their opponents here. 

22/10 Polokwane City | 21/10 | SuperSport United 12/10 (15:30)

Polokwane City are coming off consecutive 1-0 defeats against Golden Arrows and Black Aces. Coach Julio Leal will be hoping his side bounce back with a positive result, but that won’t be easy against SuperSport United. Matsatsantsa are unbeaten in six matches in the PSL, but have won just half of those games. Gordon Igesund’s side will be confident of leaving with maximum points given his side’s superb record over Polokwane. SuperSport are unbeaten in their eight meetings with six victories. The away win is tipped comfortably. 

3/10 Sundowns | 38/10 | University of Pretoria 8/10 (18:00)

Mamelodi Sundowns are in a rich vein of form – unbeaten in their last 13 matches in all competitions with 11 victories. The Brazilians played to a goalless draw with Kaizer Chiefs last Saturday and Pitso Mosimane will expect to see his side return to winning ways. Downs return to Loftus Versfeld Stadium unbeaten in eight games with seven wins, including five on the spin. University of Pretoria held their nerve to register what is only their second win of the season, their first since 22 August last year, beating Jomo Cosmos 1-0 at Tuks Stadium last Saturday. They are yet to win a match on the road with two defeats. The home win looks a banker bet.  

7/2 Maritzburg United | 22/10 | Orlando Pirates 8/10 (20:15)

Maritzburg United have recorded just one victory this season and find themselves at the footof the table. There have been encouraging signs for the Team of Choice in recent weeks. They did well to hold SuperSport to a 2-2 draw last weekend, stretching their unbeaten run to four matches. Despite being under pressure after a string of poor results, Orlando Pirates coach Eric Tinkler has maintained his position and says he will not quit the club. Pirates remain down in 12th position on the log, with only three wins in 11 league matches this season, after being held to a 1-1 draw by Platinum Stars last Saturday. With the pressure continually mounting, Tinkler will hope his side collect a much-needed win over the struggling Tshwane side. It should be a close contest, but Pirates are tipped to edge the win. 

Sunday 17 January

3/1 Bloemfontein Celtic | 22/10 | Kaizer Chiefs 9/10 (15:30)

Bloemfontein Celtic are winless in their last seven league matches with three defeats. Despite their poor run of form, Siwelele are 7th on the PSL standings with 17 points, only five behind fourth-placed Kaizer Chiefs. Coach Serame Letsoaka, who only joined Celtic in December, is still searching for his first win in charge of the club. Reigning PSL champions Kaizer Chiefs played to a goalless draw at home to Mamelodi Sundowns last weekend, stretching their unbeaten run to four matches. Steve Komphela’s side are yet to lose on the road this season and will look to return to winning ways. Back the away win. 

17/10 Jomo Cosmos | 21/10 | Ajax Cape Town 15/10 (15:30)

Strugglers Jomo Cosmos are coming off consecutive 1-0 defeats to Free State Stars and University of Pretoria last time out. Both those defeats came away from home and Jomo Sono’s side will be happy to return to the Makhulong Stadium. Ezenkosi are unbeaten in their last three home games with two wins on the bounce against Polokwane City and Chippa United. Meanwhile, Ajax Cape Town are winless in eight matches with five defeats. The Urban Warriors have lost their last three away games, including a 1-0 defeat to Golden Arrows in the Telkom Knockout. The home win is the way to go. 

9/10 Platinum Stars | 22/10 | Free State Stars 3/1 (15:30)

Despite being in fifth place on the PSL standings, Platinum Stars are struggling to find their rhythm in recent weeks. Dikwena are winless in four matches with consecutive draws against Maritzburg United and Orlando Pirates. They’ve lost two of their last three home matches with their 1-1 draw against Maritzburg United their last encounter at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium. Their opponents, Free State Stars, have won two of their last three away matches, beating Maritzburg United 3-2 and Polokwane City 2-0, before losing 3-1 to Mamelodi Sundowns in their last outing. Ea Lla Koto are tough to beat and I’m tipping them to earn a point here.

PSL Picks
Wits WIN 11/10
Golden Arrows WIN 13/10
Polokwane City WIN 22/10
SuperSport WIN 12/10
Sundowns WIN 3/10
Pirates WIN 8/10
Chiefs WIN 9/10
Jomo Cosmos WIN 17/10
Platinum Stars DRAW 22/10

Written by Chadley Nagel