South African NFD: Gameweek 9 Preview

South African NFD: Week 9 Preview

Another week, another twist in the NFD! Stellenbosch did themselves a huge favour by beating TS Sporting who were on top of the log to leapfrog them into first place. I have to admit that I didn’t see that result coming. Maccabi were shocked by relegation-threatened Real Kings and Ajax Cape Town were held to a goalless draw by bottom-placed Ubuntu Cape Town in what I expected to be a runaway victory for the Urban Warriors. Surely there won’t be too many surprises this time around. My pick of the gameweek is top-placed Stellenbosch hosting second-placed Tshakhuma. Let’s make some predictions:

*Please note that NFD games kick off time has changed from 15:00 to 15:30.

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Friday 26 October

Stellenbosch 12/10  
Draw 2/1 
Tshakhuma 22/10 
(15:30)


This Friday crunch clash will set the tone for the entire gameweek as top-placed Stellenbosch host second-placed Tshakhuma and the difference between the two teams is one point. The hosts head into this encounter off the back of a four-match winning streak and two of their players in Iqraam Rayners and Jarrod Moroole lie second and third respectively on the goalscorers’ chart. On the flip side, Tshakhuma have lost once in their last five games. Their inconsistent form has seen them draw twice and win twice during that period. Home ground advantage and form favours Stellies and I’m backing them to win.

Saturday 27 October

Mbombela United 13/10 
Draw 2/1 
Jomo Cosmos 2/1 
(15:30)

Mbombela lost 2-0 at Tshakhuma and I believe it’s a result they had braced themselves for considering the quality of the opponent. They lie in eight place with four points separating them and first place. Jomo Cosmos managed to salvage a point at home against University of Pretoria last week, all thanks to Charlton Mashumba who leapt off the bench to cancel out Diego Franco’s penalty. Ezenkosi are now sixth on the log after going unbeaten in seven games. My money is on Cosmos.

Real Kings 13/10 
Draw 2/1 
Richards Bay 2/1 
(15:30)

Real Kings are still in the relegation zone as they remain second from the bottom despite winning two consecutive games. The last time out the Magic Boys shocked a star-studded Maccabi side 4-2. Recent results suggest that they’ve turned the corner after welcoming back some of their superstars from injuries. Richards Bay have had an indifferent eight games this season, winning three of those, losing three and drawing two. The momentum is with Real Kings and I’m expecting them to make it three wins in a row.

Uthongathi 17/10 
Draw 2/1 
Ajax Cape Town 15/10 
(15:30)

Despite missing the league’s leading goalscorer, Siyabonga Vilane, Uthongathi managed to score twice last week in the 2-2 draw against Richards Bay. The Cane Cutters could have done better than letting the lead slip twice. Their top marksman will be back for this encounter. Ajax are third on the log and a win here could see them shoot to the top of the table, depending on the Stellenbosch against Tshakhuma result. The Urban Warriors have found the back of the net only six times in their first eight games and they need to address their scoring problem. During that period their captain and goalkeeper Brandon “Beeza” Petersen has kept four clean sheets. This match is likely to end in a draw.

Witbank Spurs 15/10 
Draw 2/1 
TS Sporting 17/10 
(15:30)

Witbank Spurs snapped a five-match losing streak last week when they drubbed Cape Umoya United 4-1 in the shock result of the weekend. They come up against a TS Sporting side which seeks redemption after being knocked out of top place Stellenbosch last weekend. Benson Mhlongo’s men are now fourth on the log and I foresee them fighting tooth and nail to keep up with the top three teams. TS Sporting are tipped to win this one.

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Sunday 28 October

TS Galaxy 14/10 
Draw 2/1 
Maccabi 37/20 
(15:30)

TS Galaxy are really struggling in the NFD as they only have one victory to their name. They sit just above the relegation zone and coach Dan Malesela is under immense pressure. Maccabi lost 4-2 to relegation-threatened Real Kings despite Collins Mbesuma scoring a brace. This is a golden opportunity for redemption against a struggling side. Get on Maccabi to return to winning ways.

Cape Umoya United 14/10 
Draw 2/1 
Royal Eagles 37/20 
(15:30)

Cape Umoya United are languishing in the bottom half of the table after a poor string of results in recent weeks. Roger De Sa’s men were thumped 4-1 by struggling Witbank Spurs last week. They go head to head with a Royal Eagles side which has the same number of points but is above them due to a superior goal difference. I foresee the match ending in a stalemate.

Monday 29 October

Ubuntu Cape Town 3/1 
Draw 21/10 
University of Pretoria 9/10 
(15:30)

This should be an easy one to call between Ubuntu Cape Town who are yet to win a single game this season with relegation looming large. However, they managed to hold Ajax to a goalless draw last week. University of Pretoria currently lie fifth and they are three points behind top-placed Stellenbosch. The away side should triumph here.

TREBLE @ 10/1
Stellenbosch Win 12/10
TS Sporting Win 17/10
University of Pretoria Win 9/10

Written by Benedict Ngwenya

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