South African NFD: Gameweek 29 Preview

NFD gameweek 29 preview

Last week Highlands Park, who have already secured PSL promotion, ruined my treble after finally playing to a draw for the first time after eight consecutive league games of thrashing NFD teams. With Mthatha Bucks‘ relegation already confirmed, it would be naive to back them to triumph in the two remaining dead rubbers. Ubuntu Cape Town and Richards Bay, who lie 14th and 15th respectively, lock horns in a do-or-die clash. 

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Sunday 29 April 

Cape Town All Stars 1/1  
Draw 21/10 
Royal Eagles 26/10 
(15:00)

Cape Town Stars now have nothing to play for as they’re out of PSL promotion race while also safe from relegation. Igugu leKapa are winless in their last four matches with a record of two draws and two defeats. The visitors are the ones who need points more in this particular encounter to wrap up safety with a game to spare. Their 1-0 win at Ubuntu Cape Town last week gave them some breathing space and it was their first in four matches. The KZN outfit will be motivated to win a second consecutive match in Cape Town and I foresee them claiming maximum points. 

Highlands Park 11/10  
Draw 2/1 
Black Leopards 5/2 
(15:00)

I expected the Lions of the North to trounce Cape Town All Stars last week as they had won the previous seven matches convincingly but it wasn’t to be as they relinquished a 1-0 to share the spoils. Owen Da Gama might rotate his squad as he looks to preserve his players for the upcoming PSL season. Black Leopards need at least two points to secure a PSL play off spot and honestly speaking, a draw away from home against the log leaders wouldn’t be a bad result for them. Back a stalemate here. 

Jomo Cosmos 8/10  
Draw 22/10 
Super Eagles 33/10 
(15:00)

A victory here would ensure that Jomo Cosmos play off for a place in the PSL next season as they sit third on the log. Ezenkosi have registered four wins and one draw in their last five matches which has done them a world of good in the run in. Super Eagles are by no means safe from relegation as they’re only three points above Richards Bay, who are in the relegation zone with two rounds of fixtures remaining. The Free State-based outfit has lost only one of their last five matches which underlines Ian Palmer’s impact. I think Jomo Cosmos will be too strong and my money is on them. 

Mthatha Bucks 28/10  
Draw 22/10 
Real Kings 9/10 
(15:00)

This match is a dead rubber to Mthatha Bucks as their relegation was confirmed last week after losing 3-0 to Jomo Cosmos. Amatholamnyama are winless in their last 10 games and they’re facing a Real Kings side which still has a slight chance of securing a play-off spot. The Magic Boys are four points behind third-placed Jomo Cosmos and a win would keep things interesting heading into the final round, especially if Cosmos and Leopards drop points. I’m tipping Real Kings to win as they have something to play for.

Richards Bay 14/10  
Draw 2/1 
Ubuntu Cape Town 18/10 
(15:00)

This is a massive pointer as Richards Bay are in the relegation zone and Ubuntu Cape Town are just one spot above them with one point being the difference. The New Rich Boyz have to win this one to keep their survival hopes alive and will be difficult for them away from home. The KZN outfit is winless in the last four games while the Capetonians are without a victory in their last two. I’m leaning towards Ubuntu Cape Town. 

Tshakhuma 11/10  
Draw 2/1 
Uthongathi 5/2 
(15:00)

Tshakhuma need a mighty miracle to secure a play-off spot but I don’t expect the teams above them to drop points. This is the week when their contention for promotional spots will be confirmed but I foresee them giving it their best shot anyway. Their poor form of late has seen them go six games without a win. Uthongathi need a victory to steer clear of the teams below them and avoid final day relegation dogfight drama. The Cane Cutters shocked Mbombela 1-0 at Princess Magogo Stadium last week courtesy of a Xolani Silawuli penalty. I think the Cane Cutters can grind out three points here.

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University of Pretoria 12/10  
Draw 2/1 
Stellenbosch 22/10 
(15:00)

This will be a potentially boring clash between two teams who don’t really have something to contend for. The difference between the two teams is just one point with the Stellies being just two positions above AmaTuks. Stellenbosch will be hoping to extend their two-match unbeaten run while Shaun Bartlett’s men have won only one on their last five games. I say the teams will cancel each other out. 

Witbank Spurs 9/10  
Draw 22/10 
Mbombela United 28/10 
(15:00)

Witbank Spurs’ three-match winning streak was finally broken last week when they lost 3-2 to Stellenbosch and their aim now is to win their remaining games and hope the teams above drop points to stand a chance of securing a play-off spot. They’re four points adrift of third-placed Jomo Cosmos with two rounds of matches to go. Mbombela only have Mpumalanga province bragging rights to fight for in the derby and they’re winless in five matches. Put your money on a win for Spurs. 

TREBLE @ 11/1
Jomo Cosmos Win 8/10
Uthongathi Win 5/2
Witbank Spurs Win 9/10

Written by Benedict Ngwenya

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