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South African NFD Preview

South African NFD
The KZN derby between Royal Eagles and Richards Bay is the pick of this weekend’s action.
The upcoming gameweek has matches that should be easy to call. The KwaZulu-Natal derby between Royal Eagles and Richards Bay is my pick of this weekend’s action. High-flying Highlands Park face relegation-threatened Ubuntu Cape Town and that should be the simplest prediction you’ll ever make.

*Please note that the fixture between Uthongathi FC and Jomo Cosmos has been postponed.

Saturday 20 January

11/10 Black Leopards | Draw 21/10 | Cape Town All Stars 5/2 (15:30)

This is a tight match since both teams are somewhere in the middle of the table. Black Leopards are eighth with only one victory in five matches. They have recently faced strong opponents, collecting three points against title-chasing University of Pretoria and sharing the spoils with Tshakhuma in the Limpopo derby. Cape Town All Stars come into this one off the back of three consecutive draws and they are one spot below their opponents with one point being the difference. A win would see them leapfrog Lidoda Duvha. I’m expecting the teams to cancel each other out.

12/10 Mbombela United | 2/1 | University of Pretoria 23/10 (15:30)

Mbombela are really giving PSL promotion a good go as they currently lie fourth. Their inconsistency has let them down as you don’t know which team will pitch up on the day. They’re seeking redemption as they were shocked 3-1 by struggling Ubuntu Cape Town. AmaTuks have lost their last consecutive games and that that has seen them dramatically slide down the table into fifth place. The momentum is tilting towards the opponents and I don’t see Shaun Bartlett’s men turning their fortunes around. Back the hosts.

9/10 Real Kings | 23/10 | Super Eagles 29/10 (15:30)

Real Kings have really amazed everyone. After playing a lot of draws at the start of the season they have started getting results and that has propelled them to third spot. They will really be looking to get maximum points at home against lesser rookies. Super Eagles are four points above the drop zone with a mixed bag of results throughout the season. They have won five, drawn five and lost seven of their games so far. I’m expecting this one to end in a draw.

13/10 Royal Eagles | 2/1 | Richards Bay 43/20 (15:30)

Royal Eagles are really struggling with only three wins so far this campaign. Last week they were held to a 3-3 draw by bottom-placed Mthatha Bucks which highlights the weakness of their defence. Three of Richards Bay’s only four wins this season came consecutively in their most recent three matches and they are out of the relegation zone. I’m backing the form team, Richards Bay, to keep the winning run going.

12/10 Stellenbosch FC | 2/1 | Mthatha Bucks 23/10 (15:30)

Stellenbosch haven’t had a great recent record as they have lost their last three games, conceding nothing less that three goals on all three occasions. The team that was expected to at least get a play-off spot again this season currently lies eight and this could be a defining period of their season. Perfect time to turn their fortunes around against struggling opponents. Mthatha Bucks anchor the NFD table and they are winless in nine league games. They have been able to find the back of the net though in all their previous five games including the 3-3 draw with Royal Eagles last week. I’m expecting Stellies to collect maximum points here.

Sunday 21 January

12/10 Witbank Spurs | 2/1 | Tshakhuma 23/10 (15:30)

This will be a tough one to call as both teams are tied on four points but expect both sides to have a go at each other as the fight for the top three places will be on. Both teams have two wins and two draws over the last five matches. Witbank Spurs collected maximum points at home to struggling Uthongathi FC last week while Tshakhuma played to a 1-1 draw at home against Black Leopards in the Limpopo derby. This will be an exciting encounter and I’m backing the hosts due to home ground advantage.

11/4 Ubuntu Cape Town | 43/20 | Highlands Park 1/1 (15:30)

This one is between two teams with contrasting fortunes as Highlands Park top the standings with a five-point advantage over second-placed Jomo Cosmos. They haven’t lost a match since three consecutive defeats between gameweek three and gameweek five. The hosts are second from the bottom but they have amazingly won their last two matches to make it three wins in 17 games played this season. They’re a potential banana skin for the high-flying visitors but I don’t think that will happen. Back Highlands Park at even money.

TREBLE @ 8/1
Stellenbosch Win 12/10
Mbombela United Win 12/10
Highlands Park Win 1/1

Written by Benedict Ngwenya