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South African PSL: Gameweek 28 Preview

Mamelodi Sundowns players celebrating a goal

Only two teams are mathematically able to win the league title! That’s Mamelodi Sundowns, who top the standings, and Orlando Pirates, who currently lie second. They play Maritzburg United and Bidvest Wits respectively in tricky encounters. The upcoming gameweek could possibly confirm Platinum Stars’ relegation and Ajax Cape Town moving out of the relegation by leapfrogging SuperSport United and Polokwane City. This is how I think week 28’s games will unfold.

Tuesday 24 April

Ajax Cape Town 12/10  
Draw 21/10 
Baroka 22/10

Ajax Cape Town have collected four out of a possible six points in their last two games and that has put them just one point behind SuperSport United, who are just above the drop zone. They have followed up a 1-0 victory over Wits with a 1-1 draw against Chippa United with Yannick Zakri scoring in both games. He has scored four of their eight goals since joining the club. Baroka are winless in their last four games and they have moved out of the top eight and currently lie 10th. I think Ajax will prevail in this must win clash.

Bloemfontein Celtic 12/10
Draw 21/10 
Chippa United 5/2

Bloemfontein Celtic came back from a goal down last week to draw the derby 1-1 with Free State Stars. Celtic are on 34 points and are looking to cement their place in the top eight. They have to be wary of Mxolisi Macuphu who has scored in two back-to-back games. After netting in Chippa’s emphatic 3-0 victory over Kaizer Chiefs, he hit the target last week when they drew 1-1 with Ajax. My money is on a draw.

Golden Arrows 22/10
Draw 21/10
Kaizer Chiefs 12/10 

Golden Arrows are one of the struggling teams this season as they are unlike the team at this stage last season, sitting in the bottom half. Two games in a row against Sundowns and Chiefs should be very taxing. Amakhosi managed to redeem themselves from the 3-0 defeat at the hands of Chippa by beating relegation-threatened Platinum Stars 1-0. They only have to play for pride as they’re now mathematically out of the title race. I don’t see Arrows, who have something to fight for, not winning this game.

Wednesday 25 April

Maritzburg United 2/1 
Draw 21/10 
Mamelodi Sundowns 14/10 

What makes this fixture intriguing is the fact that it will be played on the back of these sides’ meeting in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals. Maritzburg United went to the Peter Mokaba Stadium to claim a 2-0 win against Baroka last week which shows how far they’ve come with wonder-kid, Siphesihle Ndlovu, once again finding the back of the net. Sundowns played some scintillating football against Bidvest Wits and claimed a comfortable 2-0 win. This will be an entertaining clash between third and first and I’m expecting the table toppers to win.

Orlando Pirates 8/10
Draw 23/10
Bidvest Wits 7/2

Wits have won their last seven games against Orlando Pirates and for the first time in three years, the Buccaneers come into this fixture as favourites. Pirates haven’t tasted defeat in the last seven league matches and they’re the only that can mathematically snatch the league away from Sundowns. Wits have lost two matches in a row and last week they didn’t look convincing at all against Sundowns. If they take that attitude to Orlando they will be heavily humiliated. Back Pirates to win.

Platinum Stars 14/10  
Draw 21/10 
AmaZulu 21/10 

If Platinum Stars lose this game, their relegation would be confirmed with two matches to go. Dikwena lost 1-0 to Kaizer Chiefs despite promising players incentives if they win the remaining games to pull off a great escape. AmaZulu held their own at a fully packed King Zwelithini Stadium against Orlando Pirates and their midfield kingpin, Siyethemba Mnguni, was voted Man of the Match despite the team throwing away a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1. They’re fighting for a top eight finish and a win here might help them break into those positions with two matches remaining. Usuthu is likely to win this one.

Polokwane City 13/10  
Draw 21/10 
Cape Town City 21/10 

Polokwane City are not yet safe from relegation play-offs as they are only two points ahead of Ajax, at the time of writing, who are in the relegation zone. The must at least avoid defeat to keep their survival hopes alive. On the other hand, Cape Town City have dropped points on each of their last three games as they managed a record of two draws and one defeat. Benni McCarthy’s men are sixth on the log and returning to winning ways would virtually guarantee them a spot in the top eight. I’m leaning towards the visitors.

SuperSport United 16/10
Draw 19/10
Free State Stars 18/10

This is a clash between two teams who haven’t tasted victory in ages. Free State Stars were so close to winning when Goodman Dlamini’s signature shot from outside the box gave them a 1-0 lead but Bloemfontein Celtic equalised to stretch Ea Lla Koto’s winless run to four matches. SuperSport United are third from the bottom and a defeat could potentially see them being dragged into the relegation zone and leapfrogged by Ajax Cape Town. Sadly, I foresee that happening with Free State Stars collecting maximum points.

TREBLE @ 11/1
Sundowns Win 14/10
Pirates Win 8/10
Free State Stars Win 18/10

Written by Benedict Ngwenya

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