Absa Premiership: Gameweek 20 Preview

Absa Premiership: Gameweek 20 Preview
Maritzburg United continued to be the Absa Premiership’s whipping boys when they lost 1-0 to top-placed Bidvest Wits.

Will the Team of Choice turn the corner against Highlands Park? Steve Komphela and Clinton Larsen remain unbeaten since taking over the coaching reins at Golden Arrows and Chippa United respectively. Will they maintain their superb records? Also, who will claim the Soweto derby bragging rights? 

Let’s take a closer look at this weekend’s action:


Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore

Friday 8 February

Maritzburg United 26/10  
Draw 17/10 
Polokwane City 5/4 
(20:00)

Maritzburg United remain rooted to the foot of the Absa Premiership and five points off safety. Coach Eric Tinkler lost his first match in charge of the side 1-0 to Bidvest Wits. He is their third coach this season and so far, they have won one of their 19 league games. 

Polokwane City are unbeaten in their last six matches and their match against Free State Stars last week was postponed due to inclement weather. I’m backing seventh-placed Polokwane City to beat the strugglers.

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Saturday 9 February

Highlands Park 23/10 
Draw 39/20 
Bidvest Wits 13/10 
(15:30)

Highlands Park are winless in their last five games with two defeats and three draws. They come up against top-placed Wits who grinded out a 1-0 win over Maritzburg United last week. They will be looking to open up a gap on the chasing pack which includes Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns. This should be a one-sided game with Wits collecting maximum points.

Kaizer Chiefs 29/20 
Draw 18/10 
Orlando Pirates 43/20 
(15:30)

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Free State Stars 33/20 
Draw 18/20 
Chippa United 19/10 
(18:00)

Free State Stars had their match against Polokwane City postponed due to inclement weather. Nikola Kavazovic’s men have won one of their last nine games in all competitions which includes a 5-0 drubbing by Cape Town City and a Nedbank Cup elimination by Richards Bay. 

Chippa United maintained their unbeaten run under coach Clinton Larsen when they drew 1-1 with Baroka last week. Larsen has won two and drawn one of his three matches in charge of the side. My money is on the visitors.

AmaZulu 22/10 
Draw 18/10 
Cape Town City 14/10 
(20:15)

AmaZulu surprisingly beat title-chasing Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0 away from home a few hours before the Brazilians snatched Emiliano Tade away from them. The deal saw Bongi Ntuli move permanently in the opposite direction and on top of that, Usuthu signed Talent Chawapiwa who’s one of the league’s most exciting attackers from Baroka. 

Cape Town City have lost one of their last 11 games across all competitions. Goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh was brilliant in the 1-0 victory over Kaizer Chiefs where he won the Man of the Match award. The Citizens will be without the suspended Zukile Kewuti and I’m expecting Edmilson Dove to occupy the left-back position. I foresee this one ending in a draw.

Sunday 10 February

Baroka 39/20 
Draw 17/10 
Bloemfontein Celtic 17/10 
(15:30)

Baroka are winless in their last five matches across all competitions which makes the decisions to sell one of their best players in Talent Chawapiwa inconceivable. Bloemfontein lie fifth on the log with eight wins and seven defeats. We don’t know which side will pitch up on the day. I can’t separate these two sides and I’ll go for a draw.

Golden Arrows 29/20 
Draw 17/10 
SuperSport United 23/10 
(15:30)

It’s the ninth-placed Golden Arrows looking to leapfrog their opponents into eighth place. Steve Komphela is still unbeaten since taking over the coaching reins at Abafana Besthende. 

SuperSport have addressed their indifferent start to the season by signing loaning George Lebese and Mxolisi Macuphu from Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits respectively. I think this will end in a draw.

TREBLE @ 14/1
Polokwane City Win 5/4
Bidvest Wits Win 13/10
Orlando Pirates Win 39/20

Written by Benedict Ngwenya

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