South African PSL Preview

With four fixtures being played in midweek, there are just four league games taking place on the weekend. Free State Stars will host strugglers Polokwane City at Goble Park Stadium on Saturday, while SuperSport United travel to Chatsworth Stadium to take on Golden Arrows. On Sunday, Chippa United welcome relegation-threatened Maritzburg United to Port Elizabeth. Meanwhile, Platinum Stars and Mpumalanga Black Aces will lock horns at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in what should be a thrilling encounter. 

Saturday 19 March

11/10 Free State Stars | 22/10 | Polokwane City 23/10 (15:30)

A brace from Sello Japhta handed Free State Stars a 2-1 win over Bloemfontein Celtic at the Dr Molemela Stadium last Sunday. Ea Lla Koto are eighth on the Absa Premiership table with eight games left, but Giovanni Solinas is wary of allowing complacency to creep in among his charges following three straight victories in all competitions. Polokwane City on the other hand are winless in five league matches with four defeats. Free State Stars have a good record against Polokwane City having won five of their seven meetings, losing just once. The home win looks a top bet.

31/20 Golden Arrows | 22/10 | SuperSport United 31/20 (15:30)

Golden Arrows suffered a 2-0 defeat away to relegation-threatened Maritzburg United lastFriday. Prior to that loss, Clinton Larsen’s side had beaten Polokwane City 2-1 and held Mamelodi Sundowns to a goalless draw before edging Platinum Stars 1-0 at Chatsworth Stadium. The Backheel Boys will be looking to bounce back strongly against Matsatsantsa. SuperSport, touted as PSL title contenders in pre-season, have endured a poor campaign, with the club currently lying in 11th place on the table with eight matches left. Stuart Baxter’s side come off a 2-0 loss at home to leaders Mamelodi Sundowns. Matsatsantsa have won just once in their last five away games, suffering three defeats. Arrows won the reverse tie 2-1 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium. A tight affair is expected, but Arrows are tipped to make home advantage count. 

Sunday 20 March

1/1 Chippa United | 23/10 | Maritzburg United 5/2 (15:30)

Chippa United crashed out of the Nedbank Cup with a 3-2 defeat to NFD leaders Baroka FC. Dan Malesela will demand an improved performance from his players after threatening to leave if his players do not follow his instructions. The Chilli Boys have won their last three home games in the league and will be confident of picking up maximum points against relegation-bound Maritzburg United. After enjoying their best season ever, the Team of Choice have been stuck at the bottom since the beginning of the current one. Well, this is thanks to Kaizer Chiefs who came knocking at Steve Komphela's door following a very successful run with Maritzburg United. All the coaches that have been brought in since, from Mandla Ncikazi who was Komphela's assistant to current Ernst Middendorp, have failed to recapture the magic brought by the former mentor. Maritzburg got only their second win of the season last weekend, beating neighbours Golden Arrows 2-0. They remain every punters' favourite for relegation come the end of the season. Back the home win at even money. 

12/10 Platinum Stars | 22/10 | MP Black Aces 21/10 (15:30)

Platinum Stars leapfrogged to third position following their 3-0 win over a lacklustre Ajax Cape Town at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg. Cavin Johnson’s side have been superb at home with five wins on the spin, scoring 11 goals without conceding. Dikwena will be hoping to extend their impressive home record against Mpumalanga Black Aces on Sunday. Aces, who mounted a serious challenge for the league earlier on, have become inconsistent, dropping points they should have collected and now seem to be out of the title race. Aces will be in search of a win as they have dropped points in their last six league fixtures, they drew four and lost two against Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundows. With home advantage, Platinum Stars are tipped to pick up maximum points.

PSL Picks
Free State Stars WIN 11/10
Golden Arrows WIN 31/20
Chippa United WIN 1/1
Platinum Stars WIN 12/10 

Written by Chadley Nagel