Absa Premiership: Gameweek 3 Preview

Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst MiddendorpThe MTN8 quarter-finals are done and dusted and the focus is back on the league. Five PSL fixtures are on the menu this weekend as the likes of Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns are involved in continental action. This presents a golden opportunity for the likes of Kaizer Chiefs and other early pace-setters to open the gap by getting points in the bag to make playing catch up difficult for their rivals.

Saturday 24 August 

Black Leopards 15/10 
Draw 19/10 
Highlands Park 39/20 
(15:00)

Black Leopards are early relegation candidates as they have lost both of their first two games and they have found themselves lying 15th on the log. That has sparked huge speculation around coach Lionel Soccoia’s future with other media outlets reporting he has left the club, but Leopards responded by posting videos of the coach at training, squashing the rumours. Highlands Park heads into this one off the back of an emphatic 1-0 victory over Orlando Pirates in the MTN8 quarter-finals which should be a huge morale booster. Striker Rodney Ramagalela is expected to return after missing out last week due to his daughter’s death. Back the high-flying visitors to triumph.


Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore

Black Leopards 15/10 
Draw 19/10 
Highlands Park 39/20 
(15:00)

Black Leopards are early relegation candidates as they have lost both of their first two games and they have found themselves lying 15th on the log. That has sparked huge speculation around coach Lionel Soccoia’s future with other media outlets reporting he has left the club, but Leopards responded by posting videos of the coach at training, squashing the rumours. Highlands Park heads into this one off the back of an emphatic 1-0 victory over Orlando Pirates in the MTN8 quarter-finals which should be a huge morale booster. Striker Rodney Ramagalela is expected to return after missing out last week due to his daughter’s death. Back the high-flying visitors to triumph.

Golden Arrows 29/20 
Draw 18/10 
Chippa United 43/20 
(15:00)

Golden Arrows need to bounce back from the humiliating 5-0 defeat they suffered at Bloemfontein Celtic the last time out and they’ve had enough time to work on their defensive woes as they were not involved in MTN8 action this past weekend. Abafana Besithende have won one and lost one of their two opening league games. Chippa United struck on the cusp of full-time to salvage a point against Mamelodi Sundowns in the league with debutant Gregory Damons producing a Man of the Match performance. The Chilli Boys will be looking to register their first win of the season to snap a two-match drawing streak. My money is on the Chilli Boys to collect maximum points

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Kaizer Chiefs 12/10 
Draw 21/10 
SuperSport United 23/10
(18:00)

Kaizer Chiefs have started the season on a high and they will be looking to make it three consecutive wins. Eric Mathoho has been a standout performer having been rock solid at the back and scoring in both games. The Amakhosi faithful should be grateful that after tons of speculation over his future, Khama Billiat is staying put at the club. SuperSport United are on fire these days having beaten Orlando Pirates 3-0 in the league and knocking Bidvest Wits out of the MTN8 by the same scoreline. Bradley Grobler has scored three goals in the last two games and his strike partner Thamsanqa Gabuza bagged a brace in the most recent game. Speaking of Grobler and Gabuza, they’ve been Chiefs’ tormentors in recent years and their records against the hosts are well-documented. The visitors should collect maximum points and I wouldn’t be surprised if these strikers score.

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Sunday 25 August

Baroka FC 33/20 
Draw 18/10 
Bloemfontein Celtic 19/10 
(15:00)

Baroka have been quietly impressive in the early stages of the season managing to collect points against Bidvest Wits, who they beat soon after drawing with Cape Town City in their league opener. They’ve managed to hold on to their best players from last season and you can see that they’re playing like a well-oiled machine with great understanding of each other. Bloemfontein Celtic recorded a thumping 5-0 victory over Golden Arrows but followed that up by losing 3-1 to Mamelodi Sundowns in the MTN8. If you also consider the fact that they were beaten 3-1 by Orlando Pirates in the opener, it makes you realise how inconsistent they can be. I think Baroka will win this one.

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Stellenbosch 37/20 
Draw 33/20 
Maritzburg United 37/20 
(15:00)

Newly-promoted Stellenbosch remain winless in the top flight with one draw and one defeat and they will be looking to turn their fortunes around against a Maritzburg United team with an identical record. To be honest, The Team of Choice have played well with Daylon Claasen and Miguel Timm pulling the strings in the middle of the park, but luck has eluded them. Eric Tinkler’s men are likely to register their first win of the season here.

TREBLE @ 25/1
Highlands Park win 39/20
SuperSport United win 23/10
Baroka win 33/20

Written by Benedict Ngwenya

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