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South African NFD Preview

South African NFD
Another enthralling week of NFD football awaits. Check out our betting preview for gameweek 8
The coaching changes that KZN teams, Royal Eagles and Richards Bay FC, have brought in have embarked on some interesting results. After parting ways with Roger Sikhakhane, Richards Bay have collected just one point in two games and by a way of contrast, Royal Eagles have collected maximum points and they’ve soon climbed out of the relegation zone and into the top five. This is what I think the upcoming gameweek has instore for us…

Saturday 21 October

1/1 Highlands Park | Draw 22/10 | Super Eagles 28/10 (15:30)

Highlands Park lie fourth on the log and they’ve made their intentions of regaining PSL promotion clear by appointing experienced Owen Da Gama as the Head Coach and reuniting with Alan Freese as the Technical Director. Freese just parted ways with Royal Eagles and he led Highlands to PSL promotion to seasons ago as the Head Coach. The Lions of the North were on the cusp of their second successive victory last week but they let their 1-0 lead slip at the death against Real Kings who equalised in the final minute of injury time. Super Eagles are still learning the ins and outs of the NFD and they’ve unbelievably gone five matches unbeaten after losing their opening two matches. Over the last five matches, they’ve registered two wins and three draws, which is not bad for a newly-promoted side. These teams are likely to cancel each other out.

11/10 Mbombela United | 21/10 | Royal Eagles 5/2 (15:30)

Mbombela lost three and won four of their seven opening matches, having scored nine and conceded eight goals. They are very unpredictable as a team that’s blowing hot and cold, but they’re one of the best in the league in terms of entertainment value. Mbombela currently lie third on the log. After remaining winless in their opening five games, Eagles elected to part ways with Alan Freese and hired Zipho Dlangalala as the interim coach and he has remarkably turned the team’s fortunes around. The former Orlando Pirates youth ranks coach has won both his two games in charge and the results have suddenly propelled the team into the top five. Royal Eagles’ form should be too strong for Mbombela.

13/10 Mthatha Bucks | 21/10 | Cape Town All Stars 21/10 (15:30)

Mthatha Bucks are having a stuttering start to the season with only two victories in seven matches. Amatholamnyama’s last two matches ended in defeats to Royal Eagles and Stellenbosch. Before then, they had not tasted defeat in the new season. Cape Town All Stars’ slender 1-0 victory over Jomo Cosmos last week ensured that they climb into third position on the log. Stars are another team with ups and down in terms of results. They have lost two, drawn two and won three of their opening seven matches. I say All Stars edge this one.

33/20 Richards Bay | 19/10 | Uthongathi 7/4 (15:30)

Richards Bay head into this fixture off the back of a credible draw against table-topping Stellenbosch. Roger Sikhakhane vacated the head coaching position after a string of poor results and Sello Ntuli is now in charge of the Rich New Boyz who are still second from the bottom on the log. On the flip side, The Cane Cutters earned a 1-1 draw at Jomo Cosmos and recorded a hard-fought 1-0 victory at home to Witbank Spurs. Uthongathi are now ninth on the log and a win could see them climb up to third, depending on other results. I foresee a victory for Uthongathi away from home. 

21/10 Tshakhuma TM | 21/10 | Stellenbosch FC 13/10 (15:30)

Tshakhuma are winless over their last three matches with two draws and one defeat. In their opening seven fixtures, they’ve conceded nine goals and only found the back of the net on six occasions. They currently lie 12th on the standings and this will be a stern test against the table toppers. Stellenbosch top the table with 15 points out of a possible 21 and they remain the only unbeaten side in the league this season. They somewhat stuttered last week against second-from-the-bottom Richards Bay who held them to a goalless draw. I think the Stellies will return to winning ways in this match.

9/10 Witbank Spurs | 22/10 | Ubuntu Cape Town 33/10 (15:30)

After winning their opener against newly-promoted Super eagles, Witbank have gone six matches without a single victory and they are now placed only four places off the bottom. They come into this match off the back of three consecutive draws. Struggling Ubuntu Cape Town anchor the NFD table and they remain without a single victory in the current campaign with four draws and three loses. Witbank Spurs should grind out a narrow victory here.

Sunday 22 October

13/10 Jomo Cosmos | 21/10 | Real Kings FC 21/10 (15:30)

Jomo Cosmos’ title credentials have been brought under a spectacle after their not so convincing start. They sit 10th on the log with eight points in seven matches. They have only conceded five goals and scored eight. Real Kings are the real draw kings of the NFD. They always play defensively and they don’t concede more than one goal. Last week they savaged a 1-1 draw against Stellenbosch, courtesy of last gasp Nkosingiphle Phewa equaliser. This is a match involving Real Kings so another draw should be on the cards.

11/20 University of Pretoria | 5/2 | Black Leopards 11/2 (15:30)

Shaun Bartlett’s University of Pretoria is seriously challenging for the title this season. AmaTuks are second on the log, only one point off the pace. They had won four back to back matches only for that run to be halted by Super Eagles last week who managed to hold them to a 1-1 draw. Black Leopards are enduring a six-game run without a single victory. They are third from the bottom and this can undoubtedly be put down to the departure of Siphelele Ntshangase who left for Baroka FC. All their recent three games ended in goalless stalemates. AmaTuks are tipped to win this one.

TREBLE @ 9/1
Uthongathi Win 7/4
Stellenbosch Win 13/10
AmaTuks Win 11/20

Written by Benedict Ngwenya