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South African NFD Preview

Let’s see which fixtures we can put our money on this weekend's NFD action!
Let’s see which fixtures we can put our money on this weekend's NFD action!
As I predicted last week, we witnessed a one-sided match between NFD runaway leaders, Highlands Park, and relegation-threatened Ubuntu Cape Town FC as the Lions of the North cruised to an emphatic 3-0 victory. Jomo Cosmos continued to disappoint as they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Uthongathi FC at Princess Magogo Stadium. Let’s see which fixtures we can put our money on this week.

Saturday 27 January

19/20 Cape Town All Stars | Draw 22/10 | Ubuntu Cape Town 28/10 (15:30)

I’m expecting the Cape Town derby to be a one-sided affair as the difference between the two teams is huge. All Stars are eight points clear of their opponents and they head into this one off the back of a four-match unbeaten run. They managed to earn a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Black Leopards. Embattled Ubuntu Cape Town are second from the bottom and last week they expectedly succumbed to a 3-0 defeat at home to table-topping Highlands Park. However, they had won the two matches prior to that, shocking both Mbombela United and Witbank Spurs. I can only predict a Cape Town All Stars win here.

5/2 Mthatha Bucks | 22/10 | Mbombela United 1/1 (15:30)

Mthatha Bucks are really up against it as they are winless in their last 10 league games and they anchor the NFD table. The whipping boys of the NFD have managed to avoid conceding in only one of their games in all competitions this season. Mbombela have lost only one of their last five games with three of those ending in draws. They shared the spoils with promotion-chasing University of Pretoria last week. They have a chance to break into the top three if they win this match. I say the visitors claim maximum points in this one.

15/10 Super Eagles | 19/10 | Stellenbosch 19/10 (15:30)

Super Eagles couldn’t hold their own last week against resurgent Real Kings who have now climbed up to second when they got beaten 3-1. They will be looking to steer clear of relegation as they are only four points above the relegation zone. The Stellies gave themselves a chance to contend for promotion when they won 2-1 against struggling Mthatha Bucks. They currently lie seventh and a victory would give them a chance to put pressure on the front runners. My money is on Stellenbosch.

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

This is a pretty much decisive clash in terms of chasing PSL promotion play off spots as the hosts and the visitors lie fifth and sixth respectively. Tshakhuma are unbeaten in their last four matches and collecting eight out of a possible 12 points. Shaun Bartlett’s AmaTuks are going through a slump, with three defeats in their last five matches. Another loss would put a huge dent to their promotion hopes as they would lose ground on fellow contenders. Sadly, I think Tuks will lose.

Sunday 28 January

12/10 Black Leopards | 21/10 | Royal Eagles 21/10 (15:30)

This has been a very tough season for Black Leopards who almost secured PSL promotion last season. They lie 10th and they have won just one of their recent matches. A defeat at home would see Royal Eagles drawing level with them on points. Eagles seem to be making steady progress under the tutelage of reappointed Kostadin Papic. They recorded a scintillating 5-2 victory over Richards Bay in the KZN derby last week. Papic is known for playing attacking football and I’m expecting him to do so away. I’ll put my money on Eagles.

11/20 Highlands Park | 24/10 | Richards Bay 11/2 (15:30)

Highlands Park are too strong for all NFD teams and they haven’t tasted defeat since suffering three consecutive defeats between gameweek two and four. They are six points clear of second-placed Real Kings and they have home ground advantage in this fixture. The New Rich Boyz’s three match winning streak was snapped by Royal Eagles who thumped them 5-2 in the KZN derby and I don’t see them holding their own against ruthless Lions of the North. Highlands Park are likely to collect maximum points.

1/1 Jomo Cosmos | 22/10 | Witbank Spurs 5/2 (15:30)

Jomo Cosmos are in danger of dropping out of the PSL promotion spots and they are lucky that they are still in the top three as they have gone three matches without a win. ‘Bra J’ slammed his players for seeking personal glory instead of playing as a team and he will be looking for a response at home. Spurs are seeking redemption after a disappointing last week where they lost 2-0 to Tshakhuma at home. This will be a tough ask against a promotion-chasing side. Get on Jomo Sono’s men to triumph.

TREBLE @ 8/1
Royal Eagles Win 21/10
Highlands Park Win 11/20
Jomo Cosmos Win 1/1

Written by Benedict Ngwenya