Absa Premiership: Gameweek 22 Preview

Eric Mathoho and Kearyn Baccus of Kaizer Chiefs

Focus switches back to league action after a dramatic Nedbank Cup week. Kaizer Chiefs are looking to extend their lead at the summit of the standings, while the chasing pack, which includes Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits, have to play their respective catch up games and close the gap. Let’s take a closer look at this weekend’s action.

Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore
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Friday 14 February

Stellenbosch 23/10
Draw 21/10
SuperSport United 11/10
(20:00)

Stellenbosch’s three-match winning streak in the league came to a screeching halt when they lost 2-1 to Back Leopards. They went on to draw 2-2 with Maritzburg United in the Nedbank Cup, only to lose the match on penalties. Their results haven’t been disappointing at all in recent weeks. On the other hand, fourth-placed SuperSport United have been inconsistent this season and their focus should fully be on finishing as high as possible on the table after crashing out of the Nedbank Cup. I foresee these sides cancelling each other out.
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Saturday 15 February

Baroka 4/1 
Draw 24/10
Bidvest Wits 13/20 
(15:30)

Baroka have lost 11 of their 21 league games so far this season and they have a midweek Nedbank Cup clash against Polokwane City ahead of this encounter. They face a strong Wits side who came back from 3-2 down and won the match on penalties against Orlando Pirates, despite being a man down. Elias Pelembe is the man who got sent off and he will obviously miss this league game. The Clever Boys should have enough players to fill his void though and I’m predicting a comfortable win for them.

Highlands Park 13/10 
Draw 21/10 
Bloemfontein Celtic 19/10 
(15:30)
The country has been waiting with a great deal of anticipation to see a midfield triangle of Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Mlungisi Mbunjana and newly-signed Musa Nyatama. Hopefully they all start together in this encounter. Celtic ran riot against AmaZulu who sort of rolled over in the Nedbank Cup due to their precarious league position, thumping them 4-1. The result sounds amazing but Phunya Sele Sele have been inconsistent this season and we don’t know which side will pitch up. I’ll take my chance with a draw.

Mamelodi Sundowns 7/20 
Draw 32/10 
Chippa United 7/1 
(15:30)

Thapelo Morena suffered a horrific injury against SuperSport United and he has been one of the key players this season as he gave them a different dimension with his pace and link-up play. Lebohang Maboe is expected to operate as a forward next to Sibusiso Vilakazi with Gaston Sirino and Themba Zwane combining with Andile Jali and Hlompho Kekana in a four-man midfield. Ruzaigh Gamildien crowned his first Chippa United start since his return with a glorious goal as they thrashed TS Galaxy 3-0 in the Nedbank Cup. Both sides will have a go at each other but Sundowns’ quality should see them edge it.

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Kaizer Chiefs 4/10
Draw 28/10
Maritzburg United 13/2 
(18:00)

It took a late strike by Lebohang Manyama for Kaizer Chiefs to beat Royal Eagles in the Nedabnk Cup. That’s exactly what the midfielder did in the league game prior to that against Golden Arrows. This is a team with a never-say-die attitude. Maritzburg United will be famously remembered for knocking the very same Chiefs out of the Telkom Knockout which prompted coach Eric Tinkler to emphasise that Amakhosi are beatable. These two coaches know each other very well and this could end in a goalless draw.

AmaZulu 17/10 
Draw 2/1
Golden Arrows 15/10 
(20:15)
AmaZulu have won one of their last eight games and it was against fellow strugglers, Polokwane City. They have allegedly suspended Lehlohonolo Majoro, Michael Morton, Thembela Sikhakhane, Nhlanhla Vilakazi and Jabulani Ncobeni due to undisclosed reasons. They come up against a Golden Arrows team which has been very inconsistent in the league this season with seven wins, seven defeats and six draws. A draw is on the cards.

Sunday 16 February

Black Leopards 11/2 
Draw 5/2 
Orlando Pirates 5/10 
(15:30)


Mogakolodi Ngele produced a man of the match performance in the 4-0 win over minnows, North West University in the Nedbank Cup. In a contrasting result for the opponents, Orlando Pirates bowed out of the Nedbank Cup after throwing away a 3-2 lead in the final minute of extra-time to lose on penalties, however, Josef Zinnbauer hasn’t lost a match in regulation time since taking over the coaching reigns in December. The Buccaneers look likely to collect maximum points here.

Polokwane City 2/1 
Draw 2/1
Cape Town City 13/10 
(15:30)


Polokwane City have a midweek Nedbank Cup fixture ahead of this encounter while Cape Town City shockingly lost to Mbombela United 1-0 to GladAfrica Championship outfit Mbombela United in the very same competition. The Citizens seem to be missing Kermit Erasmus who is side-lined by injury for two months. Both teams are blowing hot and cold and we might see another draw.

TREBLE @ 2/1
Wits Win 13/20
Sundowns Win 7/20
Pirates Win 5/10

Written by Benedict Ngwenya