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Absa Premiership: Midweek Preview

Absa Premiership: Midweek Preview

The Absa Premiership has been full of surprises this season with Bidvest Wits and Steve Komphela’s Bloemfontein Celtic getting off to a flying start and leading the race in the early part of the campaign. Celtic’s travel to Kaizer Chiefs will be this round’s headline fixture as he will be hoping to deny his former side their first league win of the current campaign while staying atop the standings. Orlando Pirates, who have won once in four games, visit Black Leopards while a resurgent SuperSport United do battle with winless Chippa United. Speaking of winless teams, Highlands Park face a daunting task against Baroka. Here are my betting tips:


Tuesday 28 August 

Black Leopards 19/10  
Draw 21/10 
Orlando Pirates 14/10 

Black Leopards are still undefeated in the current campaign, having registered two draws and one win. They were so fantastic in the Limpopo derby last week where they edged out Polokwane City 1-0. The match before that showed how resilient they can be as they came back from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw in the dying minutes. Pirates have failed to live up to expectations this season as they’ve suffered two defeats in their four league games so far, managing one victory and one draw. Teams seem to have figured out their possession-based game which often sees them come unstuck when Luvuyo Memela, Thembinkosi Lorch and Thabo Qalinge are not part of the set up. Go with the form book here and back Leopards to win at home.

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Wednesday 29 August

Kaizer Chiefs 12/10  
Draw 21/10 
Bloemfontein Celtic 23/10 

Kaizer Chiefs have only manged to collect three out of a possible 12 points so far this season. Last week, they couldn’t beat a Maritzburg United team that was reduced to 10 men early in the first half. Amakhosi are still in the MTN8 and they might have one eye on the semi-final second leg against SuperSport United. Steve Komphela will be looking to compound his former team’s misery as his high-flying side has managed a 100% record in their opening three games. They were so impeccable in dealing with Orlando Pirates’ possession football last week and came out 1-0 winners. Celtic are likely to win this one.

Bidvest Wits 9/10  
Draw 22/10 
AmaZulu 3/1 

Wits’ 100% record in the league was finally broken last week when they suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Bidvest Wits. They are tied on nine points with Bloemfontein Celtic but they top the standings due to a superior goal difference. They have already beaten the likes of Kazier Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. AmaZulu have won two of their three games and their defeat came away from home. Their good home record is well documented and it shall be very interesting to see how they fare away from home against one of the title contenders. I foresee Wits returning to winning ways on their own turf.

SuperSport United 8/10 
Draw 23/10 
Chippa United 7/2 

SuperSport might have one eye on the MTN8 quarter-final second leg against Kaizer Chiefs when they host Dan “Dance” Malesela’s Chippa United. Matsatsantsa handed Bidvest Wits their first defeat of the current campaign when they beat them 1-0. Kaitano Tembo seems to have found the winning combination which includes experienced centre-back Bongani Khumalo. Chippa United are among the four winless teams so far and Malesela moaned about the not so great pre-season where they didn’t get any high-profile friendlies. The team is playing well but they have to be more clinical in front of goals. This should be a SuperSport United victory.

Baroka 14/10  
Draw 21/10 
Highlands Park 19/10 

Baroka have been inconsistent under coach Wedson Nyirenda. They have won one, lost one and drawn one of their opening three games. They made good use of set-pieces which saw them score two goals that helped them beat Cape Town City. Talent Chawapiwa who joined the team at the start of the season has been lively and he’s been a key player for the team. Highlands Park dropped two points from winning positions in their first two league games. After being gifted a goal by Wayne Sandilands who couldn’t keep out Gladwin Shitolo’s back pass against Orlando Pirates, they went on to draw the match 1-1 and they were leading fellow rookies Black Leopards 2-0 in the dying stages of their encounter which finished 2-2. Owen da Gama was so furious with his charges and promised to rub them the wrong way in the dressing room. I’m backing a draw here.

Golden Arrows 13/10 
Draw 21/10 
Polokwane City 21/10 

Arrows won their opening match 2-0 at Maritzburg United but followed that up by two defeats and a draw. Clinton Larsen’s youthful team has been inconsistent over the years mainly due to lack of quality and experience when it matters most. Polokwane City have won one of their three opening matches and last week they were outclassed by new kids on the block in Black Leopards. This is a perfect opportunity for them to return to register their first win of the campaign. I’ll back a draw here.

Free State Stars 15/10  
Draw 21/10 
Cape Town City 18/10 

Free State Stars have won one and lost three of their four competitive games so far this season. They haven’t really looked as sharp as they were in the previous campaign and Luc Eymael has stressed the importance of proving that a fantastic last season was no fluke much to no avail. Cape Town City are one of the four teams still left in the MTN8 and that can work to their opponents’ advantage. They will have the MTN8 second leg match against Sundowns in mind and that might be a distraction. The Citizens haven’t been consistent in the league where they’ve lost one, won one and drawn one of their three games so far. Put your money on Free State Stars who will be focusing solely on this match.

TREBLE @ 14/1
Bloemfontein Celtic Win 23/10
SuperSport United Win 8/10
Free State Stars Win 15/10

Written by Benedict Ngwenya

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