Absa Premiership: Gameweek 21 Preview

Orlando Pirates FC

Orlando Pirates continued their impressive run under coach Josef Zinnbauer, who is still unbeaten in his first six games and is a strong contender for the Coach of the Month award. This time, the mighty Buccaneers visit Norman Mapeza’s Chippa United who are winless in their last three games. Elsewhere, rejuvenated Stellenbosch and Cape Town City are looking to make it three wins in a row in their respective encounters with Black Leopards and Maritzburg United. AmaZulu and Polokwane City go head to head in a massive relegation six-pointer. Let’s have a closer look at these ties and the rest of the Absa Premiership clashes.

Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore
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Friday 31 January

Maritzburg United 5/4
Draw 39/20
Cape Town City 23/10
(20:00)

Maritzburg United’s seven-match unbeaten run in the league came to a screeching halt when they lost 2-1 to Baroka on Sunday afternoon. This time, they return to Harry Gwala Stadium where they have been impressive – especially on Friday evenings. Cape Town City seem to have turned their fortunes around and they head into this encounter off the back of two consecutive wins, with Kermit Erasmus finding the back of the net in both games. I’ll be bold and back the away team to win here.

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Saturday 1 February

Chippa United 7/2
Draw 23/10
Orlando Pirates 15/20
(15:30)

Norman Mapeza seems to have revived Chippa United as they have now climbed out of the relegation zone and they can start thinking about fighting for a spot in the top eight. However, they are winless in the last three games with two draws and one defeat. Orlando Pirates are unbeaten under the tutelage of Josef Zinnbauer and they come into this game off the back of four consecutive wins. Vincent Pule marked his return from suspension with a winner against AmaZulu last week. My money is on the mighty Buccaneers.

Golden Arrows 21/10
Draw 43/20
SuperSport United 5/4
(15:30)

Arrows might feel hard done by after conceding in stoppage time to lose 1-0 to Kaizer Chiefs after a superb defensive display on Saturday. Abafana Bes’thende need to work on their transitional play when it comes to switching defence into attack as Knox Mutizwa was often isolated up front with no service coming from the midfielders. A win for SuperSport United could see them leapfrog Mamelodi Sundowns into second place. Matsatsantsa steamrolled their way to a 3-0 victory over Chippa United with Bradley Grobler’s brace taking his goal tally for the season to 10. Once again, I’ll lean towards the visiting team.

Highlands Park 29/20
Draw 21/10
Baroka 19/10
(15:30)

Highlands Park have been poor in recent weeks and they will be looking to end a three-match losing streak while Baroka recorded a crucial 1-0 victory over Maritzburg United to move out of the relegation zone. A win for the visitors, who will finally have coach Dylan Kerr sit on the bench after receiving his work permit, would see them go level on points with their opponents who currently occupy 11th spot. The home team are embattled, and they’ve never been the same since they had to release an official statement rebuking claims that coach Owen Da Gama had resigned. I foresee Baroka collecting maximum points.

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Sunday 2 February

AmaZulu 29/20
Draw 21/10
Polokwane City 37/20
(15:30)

This will be a dull match between two teams who are in the relegation zone. AmaZulu have won one of their last 10 games, while Polokwane City have won one of their last 15 matches. Expect a boring game without any goalscoring opportunities, and, I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends goalless. I’m predicting a share of the spoils.

Black Leopards 39/20
Draw 39/20
Stellenbosch 29/20
(15:30)

This is a clash of two teams with contrasting fortunes at this point in time with Black Leopards having summoned coach Cavin Johnson to the team’s headquarters to explain his strategy after a poor string of results. Lidoda Duvha are winless in their last seven games while Stellenbosch are enduring a three-match winning streak. Back the Stellies due to their momentum.

TREBLE @ 15/1
Cape Town City Win 23/10
Orlando Pirates Win 15/20
Baroka Win 19/10

Written by Benedict Ngwenya