South African PSL Preview

The Nedbank Cup provided us with plenty excitement last weekend with Pirates claiming bragging rights in the Soweto derby against their fierce rivals Kaizer Chiefs. There were massive wins from University of Pretoria as well as Black Aces, while Chippa United exited the cup in the first round, going down 3-2 in front of their own supporters against NFD log-leaders Baroka. However, enough about the cup, we have four league matches at the weekend to preview, including the colossal Durban derby between Maritzburg United and Golden Arrows, which has even more importance given The Team of Choice’s position on the log. The Free State derby also takes place on Sunday, but enough rambling! Let’s go to it.

Friday 11 March

19/10 Maritzburg United | Draw 21/10 | Golden Arrows 27/20 (20:00)

Maritzburg United remain without a win on their ground, losing six times and drawing four out of 10 games. The bottom-dwellers have, however, been unlucky in recent weeks and are fighting tooth and nail to survive the lonely drop to the second division. The Team of Choice have lost four of their last six matches, but hopefully their 3-1 home win in the Nedbank Cup against Black Leopards will give them confidence as well as build some momentum ahead of the clash with their city-rivals. Golden Arrows are unbeaten in their last three league matches; including a hard-earned 1-0 home win against Platinum Stars last time out. Arrows have been inconsistent on the road this season, winning four, losing four and drawing twice from 10 matches. Maritzburg are unbeaten against Arrows in the last three meetings at home, however, this is a derby game, and home advantage won’t mean much here. This one should turn out to be a cagey affair, with the draw looking a likely outcome.

Saturday 12 March

8/10 MP Black Aces | 23/10 | University of Pretoria 33/10 (15:30)

Black Aces put their terrible league form behind them on Sunday afternoon as they annihilated minnows United Rovers 7-0 away from home. In the league, Aces are without a victory in six league games, including back-to-back defeats against Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns. They will return to their ground where they have won six from 10 games, suffering just one defeat. University of Pretoria will look to keep them at bay and have shown they are up to the task in recent weeks. In their last league game, Shaun Bartlett’s men thrashed Chippa United 3-0 at home to boost their chances of survival. They then ran riot last Saturday with a 5-0 thumping of ABC Motsepe side, Polokwane City Rovers – that’s eight goals without conceding in their last two matches. Tuks are unbeaten in the last five meetings against Black Aces with four wins. However, Amazayoni have done well on their ground this term, making the draw the predicted result. 

13/20 Orlando Pirates | 23/10 | Jomo Cosmos 9/2 (20:15) 

Orlando Pirates will face relegation-threatened Jomo Cosmos with plenty of confidence and momentum following their 2-0 win over Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs last Saturday. The Bucs have also shown some good form in the league, claiming four wins from a possible six, including two victories on the bounce. Jomo Cosmos have been in terrible form in the league, losing four of their last six games; plus two defeats in a row. To make matters worse, Cosmos are without a win on the road, suffering eight defeats from 10 matches, scoring a measly four goals and conceding 14 times. Pirates lost the reverse tie 1-0 and will certainly be out to avenge that defeat. They are unbeaten against their opponents in the last six meetings at home and should prove overwhelming for Jomo Sono and his wounded men.

Sunday 13 March

31/20 Bloem. Celtic | 22/10 | Free State Stars 31/20 (15:30)

Bloemfontein Celtic have been in horrendous form in the league with three losses on the trot. What’s even more dismal is their goalscoring ability in recent weeks. Phunya Sele Sele haven’t scored a goal in their last five matches in all competitions, which dates back to 3 February - a 1-1 draw at home against SuperSport United. Free State Stars have struggled to maintain winning form of late, but come into this fixture off the back of consecutive victories against Ajax Cape Town in the league and Nedbank Cup. Ea Lla Koto have been poor on the road this season with just three wins and six losses from 10 travels. However, they have won their last three meetings against Celtic, which will give them confidence going into the Derby on Sunday. The away win is tipped.   

Other matches which weren’t included in this week’s PSL preview was Sunday’s meeting between Platinum Stars and Ajax Cape Town, plus another four matches midweek scheduled for the 14th and 15th of March. The fixtures were not completed due to catch up games at the time of writing. Sorry for the inconvenience. Happy punting!

PSL Picks
Maritzburg DRAW 21/10
Black Aces DRAW 23/10
Pirates WIN 13/20
FS. Stars WIN 31/20 

Written by Aaron Crowie