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South African NFD Preview

South African NFD
Highlands Park continue to ride the crest of the NFD wave as they go 11 games unbeaten
Highlands Park continue to ride the crest of the NFD wave as they go 11 games unbeaten in the league. Title-contending Jomo Cosmos were defeated by Real Kings who have now climbed up to third. Ubuntu Cape Town claimed a rare win, this time at the expense of Witbank Spurs. That was the shock result of the whole round, with plenty of value if you called it. Let’s forecast the upcoming gameweek.

Saturday 13 January

12/10 Highlands Park | Draw 2/1 | Real Kings 23/10 (15:30)

High-flying Highlands Park haven’t lost a single game since suffering three consecutive defeats within the first four gameweeks. The Lions of the North look set to regain promotion and the players who have PSL experience seem too strong for other NFD teams. Real Kings have gone from playing not to lose to going all-out in search of victories. They’re currently on a three-match winning streak which includes victories over fellow contenders, Jomo Cosmos and University of Pretoria. A win will bring the KwaZulu-Natal side to within three points of their table-topping opponents. Get on Highlands Park to narrowly edge it.

9/10 Mbombela United | 22/10 | Ubuntu Cape Town 29/10 (15:30)

Mbombela are tied on points with third-placed Real Kings and they will be hoping to climb back into the top three. They won 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller at Royal Eagles last week. The match clearly epitomises their attacking prowess and defensive frailties as they have scored 21 and conceded 19 this season. Ubuntu Cape Town claimed only their second victory in 16 games when they beat Witbank Spurs 2-1 last season. They are rooted to the foot of the table with seven draws and seven losses. Mbombela should win this one.

13/10 Mthatha Bucks | 2/1 | Royal Eagles 21/10 (15:30)

Mthatha Bucks are in the relegation zone without a single victory in the last eight league matches as they have lost six and drawn two of those. This will be a tough fixture against attack-minded Royal Eagles who are fighting for survival. Eagles are still struggling after sacking Owen Da Gama and re-hiring Kosta Papic. They have only won three matches so far and that has resulted in the Serbian mentor re-signing Masibusane Zongo who is known for great football but bad behaviour and off the field. Back Eagles to win this bottom of the table clash.

17/10 Richards Bay | 18/10 | Stellenbosch 17/10 (15:30)

Richards Ba,y who spent the whole first half of the season anchoring the table, now find themselves two points above the drop zone after two consecutive wins. This will be a stern test at home against the unpredictable Stellies. The Cape Town outfit are looking to snap the two-match losing streak before things get worse. They are now seventh on the log and a victory would bring them closer to the top three teams. My heart says The New Rich Boyz but my head and my money are with the visitors.

1/1 University of Pretoria | 21/10 | Super Eagles 26/10 (15:30)

AmaTuks have lost two of their last four matches, which show that they’re going through a rough patch. They will relish a chance to play a lesser opponent to return to winning ways and contend for PSL promotion. Super Eagles head into this one off the back of a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of high-flying Highlands Park. They are now away to a team that fancies its chances of finishing in a PSL play-off spots and the best they can hope for is a draw. Taking form into consideration, I think this will end in a draw.

1/1 Witbank Spurs | 21/10 | Uthongathi 26/10 (15:30)

After beating Stellenbosch convincingly, Witbank lost 2-1 to bottom-placed Ubuntu Cape Town. They are now at home against Uthongathi who are enduring a three-match winless run and they will be hoping to compound their misery. Uthongathi are placed 11th and the objective is to steer clear of the relegation zone and stay in the league next season. Ronnie Gabriel’s men have drawn half of their league games this season and I think they will once again play not to lose away from home. My prediction is a stalemate.

Sunday 14 January

9/10 Jomo Cosmos | 22/10 | Cape Town All Stars 29/10 (15:30)

Ezenkosi’s eight-match unbeaten run came to and end last week when they lost 1-0 to Real Kings. Jomo Cosmos have never lost a home game this season with seven wins and just one draw. This will be a perfect opportunity to exert pressure on top-paced Highlands Park and steer clear of the chasing pack. Cape Town All Stars have been very inconsistent over their last 16 games, having registered five wins, five draws and six defeats. You just don’t know which team is going to rock up on the day. Jomo Cosmos should easily collect maximum points at home.

12/10 Tshakhuma | 2/1 | Black Leopards 23/10 (15:30)

Tshakhuma is one of the most inconsistent teams in the league with a record of six wins, five draws and five losses so far. They need to sort out their defensive frailties as 23 goals conceded in 16 games doesn’t make for a good reading. Black Leopards are on the same inconsistency boat as they take onto the match a record of five wins, six draws and five defeats. This will be tightly-contested Limpopo derby that can go either way, but I’ll back Leopards due to experience.

TREBLE @ 15/1
Royal Eagles Win 21/10
Stellenbosch Win 17/10
Jomo Cosmos Win 9/10

Written by Benedict Ngwenya