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South African PSL Preview

The ABSA Premiership gets underway on Friday night as Cape Town City host Mamelodi Sundowns
The ABSA Premiership gets underway on Friday night as Cape Town City host Mamelodi Sundowns
A top-of-the-table clash between top-placed Mamelodi Sundowns and second-placed Cape Town City is on the menu this weekend. Elsewhere, Kaizer Chiefs will be looking to return to winning ways when they visit the champions, Bidvest Wits who are looking to steer clear of relegation and Orlando Pirates host Maritzburg United. This is how I think these mouth-watering clashes will pan out.

Friday 2 February

Cape Town City 18/10
Draw 19/10
Mamelodi Sundowns 16/10

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Saturday 3 February

Free State Stars 12/10
Draw 21/10
Baroka 23/10

Free State Stars, who were second on the log two weeks into the new year, have now dropped five of a possible six points in the last two games and they will be hoping to return to winning ways at home. Ea Lla Koto are now fifth on the log, six points off the pace. Seventh-placed Baroka earned a 2-2 draw at Golden Arrows last week with Gift Motupa bagging a brace which took his goal tally for the season to eight. He’s been very effective when operating as a second striker and Stars should be wary of his threat. I’m leaning towards Free State Stars.

SuperSport United 12/10
Draw 21/10
Bloemfontein Celtic 23/10

SuperSport are winless in three games and their misery was compounded by Bidvest Wits who thrashed them 4-1 last week. Eric Tinkler is under pressure to turn things around. Jeremy Brockie’s departure to Sundowns also didn’t help their cause as they are now without a deadly out-and-out striker. They might find themselves in a relegation dogfight as they’re now two places above the drop zone. Celtic have failed to record a single victory in their last four matches and they have been inconsistent throughout the season as they’ve won six, lost six and drawn seven of their 19 games this season. I see SuperSport suffering another defeat here.

Bidvest Wits 19/10
Draw 2/1
Kaizer Chiefs 15/10

The defending champions have dramatically turned their fortunes around as they are unbeaten in their last four matches, three of which were convincing victories. The last time these sides met, Wits knocked Amakhosi out of the Telkom Knockout and prior to that, Amr Gamal’s last gasp equaliser earned 10-men Wits a point at FNB Stadium. Chiefs haven’t tasted defeat in their last six matches, with only two of those ending in draws. The Phefeni Glamour Boys have been poor in front of goal as they have found the back of the net on 17 occasions in 19 outings. This is likely to be a cagey encounter which will end in a draw.

AmaZulu 15/10
Draw 2/1
Golden Arrows 19/10

The eagerly awaited KZN derby is a must-win for both sides as AmaZulu are just one spot above the relegation zone and if they don’t get the results they might finish the gameweek in serious trouble. Both sides are unbeaten in the last three games with the recent two ending in draws. Golden Arrows overturned a 1-0 deficit only to throw away a 2-1 lead to draw the match against Baroka 2-2. New signing, Danny Venter managed to put his name on the scoresheet and I’m expecting him to play a key role in helping the team as he’s playing under the coach who discovered him and gave him his PSL debut eight years ago. I foresee Arrows collecting maximum points.

Orlando Pirates 8/10
Draw 23/10
Maritzburg United 7/2

Orlando Pirates have been superb since the turn of the year, winning three and drawing one of their four games. Newly-signed Justin Shonga has found his scoring boots and netted the opener in the 2-0 victory over Platinum Stars last week. They have bolstered the midfield by signing Xola “Ten Ten” Mlambo from Bidvest Wits. Maritzburg United couldn’t claim maximum points at home against Chippa United when they let a 1-0 half-time lead slip in the second half to share the spoils. Evans Rusike, who is in good form, has now scored seven goals this season – that’s two behind Rodney Ramagalela who tops the chart. My money is on Orlando Pirates.

Sunday 4 February

Chippa United 15/20
Draw 23/10
Platinum Stars 15/4

After two consecutive draws against Golden Arrows and Maritzburg United, Chippa United coach, Teboho Moloi praised his charges for not showing complacency against lesser opponents which has been their downfall in recent months. Their character will be tested against a bottom-placed side. Platinum Stars are the whipping boys of the league as they have lost their last four matches and remain rooted to the foot of the table. This should be a win for Chippa at home.

Polokwane City 11/10
Draw 21/10
Ajax Cape Town 5/2

Polokwane head into this one off the back of three successive draws, with Rodney Ramagalela failing to continue his first half of the season scoring form. Rise and Shine were dealt a blow last week when striker, Thobani Mncwango left for Bidvest Wits. Ajax Cape Town are in a relegation dogfight and they will hope their new signings will help solve their struggles. The latest addition is Siyanda Zwane, who joined on loan from Sundowns. Yannick Zakri, who’s also on loan from the same club, did well last week even though he couldn’t find the back of the net. Back the visitors to triumph.

TREBLE @ 14/1
Pirates Win 8/10
Arrows Win 19/10
Chiefs vs Wits Draw 2/1

Written by Benedict Ngwenya