South African PSL Preview

The Absa Premiership has reached its halfway mark with six-time champions Mamelodi Sundowns top of the standings on 33 points. Bidvest Wits are second with a single point behind the Brazilians and Mpumalanga Black Aces are third with 30 points. This weekend all eyes will be on Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs who will lock horns at the FNB Stadium on Saturday. Both sides lost their previous fixtures against Cosmos and Platinum Stars respectively and will look to the derby as inspiration to kick-start their seasons. Chiefs are on 25 points while Pirates languish in the bottom half, 17 points behind the leaders. 

Friday 29 January

9/10 Ajax CT | Draw 22/10 | Golden Arrows 28/10 (20:00)

Ajax Cape Town suffered a 3-1 defeat away to Chippa United last Sunday, despite taking the lead through Prince Nxumalo in the second minute. The Urban Warriors have won just once in their last 10 matches in the Absa Premiership. Roger de Sa’s side are winless in five home matches with two defeats against Pirates and SuperSport. Although De Sa has received full support from the club, results have got to improve with the fans getting restless. Golden Arrows had their match with Maritzburg United postponed last weekend in honour of the late Team of Choice midfielder Mondli Cele. Arrows’ last outing was a 2-0 home defeat to Chippa United and Clinton Larsen will be expecting his team to raise their level of quality. Before that loss, the Backheel Boys were unbeaten in three games with wins over Polokwane City and Golden Arrows. The last three league encounters between the two sides have ended in draws. You can follow that trend at 22/10.

Saturday 30 January

2/1 Orlando Pirates | 2/1 | Kaizer Chiefs 13/10 (15:30)

Click on the link for our full match preview!

13/10 Polokwane City | 2/1 | Jomo Cosmos 2/1 (15:30)

James Keene scored a hat-trick in Bidvest Wits’ 5-0 demolition of Polokwane City at the Bidvest Stadium last Friday night. That was an eighth defeat of the season for Julio Leal’s side who sit 13th on the league standings. Polokwane will welcome the return to Peter Mokaba Stadium where they’ve won consecutive matches against Platinum Stars and SuperSport United. Jomo Cosmos collected three much-needed points with a 1-0 victory over Soweto giants Orlando Pirates at Olen Park last weekend. Zimbabwean attacker Charlton Mashumba got the goal in the 74th minute for the home side, who consequently moved four points clear of the relegation zone but remain in 14th spot on the table. Their win over Pirates also saw them end a three-match losing streak. Cosmos are tipped to earn a point here.  

13/10 SuperSport United | 2/1 | Free State Stars 2/1 (18:00)

SuperSport United were beaten 2-0 by Mamelodi Sundowns at Lucas Moripe Stadium last Saturday. It was Matsatsantsa’s second loss in succession after they were embarrassed 4-1 by Polokwane City two weeks ago. SuperSport have only collected four wins in 17 games so far in the Absa Premiership this season and lie 10th on the table. Their opponents, Free State Stars edged Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 to grab bragging right in the Free State Derby at Goble Park last Saturday. A solitary strike from Lucky Mohomi in the 22nd minute was enough to hand the home side the three points. SuperSport are struggling to find their rhythm and with Ea Lla Koto in good form of late, I’m going for the away win at 2/1.

17/20 Black Aces | 22/10 | Chippa United 3/1 (20:15)

Mpumalanga Black Aces suffered a blow in the title race as relegation-threatened University of Pretoria beat them 1-0 thanks to an early strike from Atusaye Nyondo. That match saw Aces' five-game winning streak in the league come to an end. Aces lose ground on Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns, who won their respective games last weekend. Chippa United eased to a 3-1 win over Ajax Cape Town last Sunday – their second straight league victory. The Chilli Boys are up to sixth place in the Absa Premiership standings, but their away form is a major concern. Chippa have lost four of their six travels and Black Aces should bounce back strongly with a win. 

4/1 Maritzburg United | 24/10 | Mamelodi Sundowns 13/20 (20:15)

Maritzburg United did not take part in the Absa Premiership last weekend as they bid farewell to the late midfielder Mondli Cele, one of soccer's rising stars. The Team of Choice have drawn four games in a row – their last coming in a 3-3 draw at home to Orlando Pirates. Mamelodi Sundowns registered a comfortable 2-0 victory at home to SuperSport United which saw them maintain their lead at the summit of the table. Pitso Mosimane’s side are unbeaten in 15 games in all competitions with 13 wins, including two on the spin. In what should be an emotional game, Sundowns should come away with maximum points as Maritzburg continue to mourn the tragic passing of Cele. 

Sunday 31 January

23/10 Bloem Celtic | 21/10 | Bidvest Wits 11/10 (15:30)

Bloemfontein Celtic are winless in nine league matches following their 1-0 defeat to Free State Stars last weekend. Phunya Sele Sele have lost four of their last five matches, including two on the bounce. Keene’s first hat-trick in the Absa Premiership in just three games and a single goal each by Paseka Sekese and Ben Motshwari saw Bidvest Wits get back to winning ways by beating Polokwane City 5-0 at the Bidvest Stadium last Friday night. The Clever Boys are second on the table with just a single point behind leaders Sundowns. The five goals will also boost Wits’ goal difference, which seems like it’s going to be very important towards the end of the season. The away win is tipped confidently. 

8/10 Platinum Stars | 22/10 | University of Pretoria 33/10 (15:30)

Eleazar Rodgers scored two late goals as Platinum Stars snatched a 2-1 victory over Kaizer Chiefs at Cape Town Stadium last Sunday. That was only their first win in six matches and Cavin Johnson will be hoping to build on that performance. University of Pretoria managed to get their second Absa Premiership win in the new year when they defeated Mpumalanga Black Aces 1-0 last Sunday at Loftus Versfeld Stadium. Tuks remain, however, rooted in 15th spot with 12 points but their victory over Aces is a morale booster as they attempt to escape the relegation axe. Dikwena have lost just once in seven meetings against Tuks with three wins, including two on the spin. Take the home win at 8/10. 

PSL Picks
Ajax CT DRAW 22/10
Kaizer Chiefs WIN 13/10
Polokwane City DRAW 2/1
Free State Stars WIN 2/1
Black Aces WIN 17/20
Sundowns WIN 13/20
Bidvest Wits WIN 11/10
Platinum Stars WIN 8/10

Written by Chadley Nagel