Absa Premiership: Gameweek 22 Preview

Absa Premiership: Gameweek 22 Preview Free State Stars’ 3-2 win over Bloemfontein Celtic signalled the start of the run-in as the season is drawing to a close! That victory left Maritzburg United needing a mighty miracle to survive relegation as they are now six points off safety. Speaking of Maritzburg United, they host AmaZulu in a mouth-watering KZN derby. Both Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs will be in KZN as they entertain Golden Arrows and Highlands Park respectively. Elsewhere, title-chasing Mamelodi Sundowns host Bloemfontein Celtic while Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City reignite their rivalry. Check out our predictions:


Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore

Friday 1 March

Maritzburg United 19/10 
Draw 17/10 
AmaZulu 7/4 
(20:00)

This encounter will set the tone for the gameweek as two KZN football powerhouses go pound for pound. Maritzburg United anchor the foot of the PSL table and collecting maximum points as other results could deepen their crisis. The Team of Choice have won only two of their 21 games so far this season. AmaZulu seek redemption after a 4-1 clobbering by Orlando Pirates last week. The visitors currently sit in 11th spot with 23 points in 21 games after being docked six points by FIFA. AmaZulu are much better side here and they should win.

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Saturday 2 March

Mamelodi Sundowns 5/10 
Draw 33/10 
Bloemfontein Celtic 47/10 
(15:30)

Title-chasing Sundowns have failed to convert their games in hand into points in the past few weeks after being held by Polokwane City and Bidvest Wits. They play this one after facing Cape Town City and these two games are key. Celtic dropped to eighth on the log after shockingly suffering a 3-2 defeat at the hands of relegation-threatened Free State Stars. Celtic’s sluggish defence saw them trail 3-0 at halftime and if other teams exploit their lack of pace, they could be found wanting. My money is on Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld.

Kaizer Chiefs 19/20 
Draw 43/20 
Highlands Park 29/10 
(18:00)

Kaizer Chiefs are winless in regulation time in the last five games with four of those ending in draws. Just when we thought they had addressed their goalkeeping problem, we saw newly-signed Daniel Akpeyi committing a goalkeeping blunder which saw them draw 1-1 with Polokwane City last week. Highlands Park remain the most draw-laden team in the PSL with 11 stalemates in 21 matches. They played out to a goalless with Black Leopards last week and they might seek the same results against Chiefs at Moses Mabhida Stadium. This had draw written all over it.

Bidvest Wits 12/10 
Draw 18/10 
Cape Town City 26/10 
(20:15)

Gavin Hunt and Benni McCarthy’s pupil and master rivalry is well documented and this will be a scrumptious clash between the top-placed team and another title-chasing side. Wits have won only one of their last five league games and I expect them to relinquish top spot soon. The Citizens will head into this one after the Mamelodi Sundowns clash and it shall be very interesting to see how they cope with two of the top three sides in a space of four days. They should be delighted with a draw at Bidvest Stadium. I’m tipping a share of the spoils.

Free State Stars 13/10 
Draw 18/10 
Black Leopards 5/2 
(20:15)

A victory for Free State Stars could see them climb out of the relegation zone and they must be emboldened by their first half performance against Bloemfontein Celtic last week where they went into the break leading 3-0. That has put them in a perfect position to fight relegation. Black Leopards are winless in their last four league games with two draws and two defeats despite playing exciting football. I expect them to come out fighting against a team that could leapfrog them on the table. This could go either way but my gut feeling says Black Leopards.

Golden Arrows 23/10 
Draw 39/20 
Orlando Pirates 13/10 
(20:15)

Golden Arrows have lost only one game under the tutelage of Steve Komphela. Abafana Bes’thende are still in the Nedbank Cup, but in the league, their form has been somewhat indifferent with 10 draws in 21 matches. Orlando Pirates are placed second on the log with nine wins, nine draws and three defeats. The Buccaneers returned to winning ways last week when they thrashed AmaZulu 4-1 in a game where we saw Luvuyo Memela, Kudakwashe Mahachi, Vincent Pule, Thembinkosi Lorch and Justin Shonga starting at the same time. I feel that they’ll opt for the same aggressive approach here and I’m afraid Arrows could be humiliated on their own patch. Back the Buccaneers to win.

Sunday 3 March

Baroka 17/10 
Draw 19/10 
Polokwane City 17/10 
(15:30)

This is an interesting Polokwane derby with the visitors having managed to hold both Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs in consecutive games. The hosts have drawn four and won one of their last five league games and they will be looking to steer clear of relegation trouble. On the other hand, Rise and Shine are looking to cement their place in the top eight. I’m backing a draw in this encounter.

Chippa United 43/20 
Draw 18/10 
SuperSport United 29/20 
(15:30)

Chippa United have won four and drawn two of their six games under Clinton Larsen but they sit one spot above the relegation zone which makes this a must-win game at home. Their resilience saw them come back from a goal down to salvage a 1-1 draw against Arrows last week. SuperSport United have been blowing hot and cold this season and the last few weeks perfectly epitomise the story of their season as they have won three and lost two of their last five games. Matsatsantsa are priced up as favourites but their inconsistency prompts me to tip against the form book and put my money on the Chilli Boys.

TREBLE @ 11/1
Mamelodi Sundowns Win 5/10
Orlando Pirates Win 13/10
Black Leopards Win 5/2

Written by Benedict Ngwenya

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