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South African PSL Preview

The first fifth of the current season is done and dusted as Golden Arrows and Baroka FC are joint-leaders
The first 5th of the current season is done & dusted as Golden Arrows and Baroka FC are joint-leaders
The first fifth of the current PSL season is done and dusted, and surprisingly, Golden Arrows and Baroka FC are the joint-leaders with 12 points apiece, but the former is above due to superior goal difference.

Last week, third-placed Orlando Pirates suffered their first defeat of the season, succumbing 1-0 to Bidvest Wits, who got their first three points of the campaign. Winless Platinum Stars are languishing at the bottom of the table with only two points out of a possible 18. Let’s see what’s in store for gameweek seven of the ABSA Premiership.

Friday 29 September

7/10 Maritzburg United | Draw 23/10 | Free State Stars 4/1 (20:00)

Maritzburg United have only lost one game in their first five outings. Coach Fadlu Davids has turned the team into a force to be reckoned with and they currently lie sixth on the log. Their danger man, Evans Rusike, has been terrorising teams and he will be hoping to continue that against lesser opposition. Free State Stars have always been relegation candidates in recent years and this season is no exception, with the team languishing in 14th place. Ea Lla Koto have acquired the services of Luc Eymael, who is an astute tactician and they have picked up their first win of the season, beating his former team Polokwane City 3-2. The hosts should have enough firepower to claim maximum points, get on!

Saturday 30 September

14/10 Ajax Cape Town | 21/10 | Cape Town City FC 18/10 (15:00)

The Cape Town derby is a mouth-watering prospect with the arrival of Benni McCarthy at Cape Town City bringing it back to relevance. The teams’ banter on social media has amazingly enticed everyone to eagerly await the encounter with a great deal of anticipation. Ajax Cape Town who lie 12th on the log, have picked up only one win so far this season. On the other hand, Cape Town City find themselves in the MTN8 final and they are currently placed fifth on the log having a game in hand. The Citizens did the double over their crosstown rivals last season and they will be hoping to continue their Mother City dominance this time around. Put your money on Benni’s boys.

7/10 Golden Arrows | 23/10 | Chippa United 4/1 (15:00)

Golden Arrows top the standings with 12 points in six games. Clinton Larsen’s men remain undefeated in the current campaign with three wins and three draws to their name. Last weekend, Abafana Besithende earned a hard-fought point in a goalless draw at Kaizer Chiefs. Chippa United have parted ways with Dan Malesela, with Teboho Moloi now in charge as a caretaker coach. They have drawn both matches under the new mentorship and it shall be interesting to see if Tebza Ngwana can get his first victory against the log leaders. My money is on Arrows.

7/10 Kaizer Chiefs | 23/10 | Baroka FC 4/1 (18:00)

Kaizer Chiefs are fourth on the log and they have only won two of their first six matches. They have drawn three and lost one. Last week, they missed out on a chance to go level with the log leaders when they drew 0-0 with Golden Arrows. It has been confirmed that their keeper, Itumeleng Khune, is fit for this fixture after an awkward landing in the previous game. Ever since the arrival of Doctor Khumalo as their Technical Director and former Black Leopards midfield kingpin, Siphelele Ntshangase – Baroka have been a force to be reckoned with. They’re tied on points with top-placed Golden Arrows and we need to remember that they have never lost to Kaizer Chiefs. This is likely to end in a stalemate.

23/10 Polokwane City | 22/10 | Orlando Pirates 11/10 (20:15)

Polokwane City are really struggling this season and they come into this one off the back of four straight loses. They last won a match in gameweek two. There’s talk of hiring Dan Malesela to replace struggling Bernard Molekwa. Orlando Pirates started the season very well, but last week, they have lost their first league game to Bidvest Wits, who recorded their first victory of the season. Milutin Sredojevic is employing new tactics which revolve around possession football with Thabo Matlaba, who normally plays as a fullback, operating in midfield alongside Musa Nyatama and Mpho Makola. The team is slowly adapting to the philosophy, but at some instances, players show that they’re not sure yet if they’re doing it right. Still, I expect the Buccaneers to win here.

Sunday 1 October

13/10 Bloemfontein Celtic | 21/10 | Bidvest Wits 2/1 (15:00)

Results haven’t been forthcoming for Bloemfontein Celtic with only one win in six matches. Last week, they were only saved by the woodwork in the 0-0 draw with Chippa United who struck the woodwork twice. After crashing out of the MTN8 and going five games in the league without a win, the defending champions have finally collected their first maximum points of the season, beating Orlando Pirates 1-0. They have always been a good team with top players but coach Gavin Hunt has tinkered with the side too much and hopefully this time around he will stick with the winning combination. Bidvest Wits should win this one, and are well-priced at 2/1.

4/1 Platinum Stars | 23/10 | Mamelodi Sundowns FC 7/10 (15:00)

Platinum Stars are having one of their worst starts ever in the top-flight. Dikwena have drawn two and lost four of their opening six games. This past weekend, they relinquished a 1-0 lead to let AmaZulu salvage a 1-1 draw. Sundowns have been knocked out of the CAF Champions League after losing 3-2 on penalties to Moroccan outfit, Wydad Casablanca, and now all their focus is on the league. They have some serious catching up to do as they have only played three matches in which they have collected six points. Back the African champions to beat struggling Dikwena.

TREBLE @ 13/1
Cape Town City Win 18/10
Golden Arrows Win 7/10
Bidvest Wits Win 2/1

Written by Benedict Ngwenya