ABSA Premiership Week 23 Preview

Written by The Caretaker Coach for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!

It’s the first full round of midweek fixtures we’ve been treated to in a while. After a very tame Soweto Derby and Bloem Celtic providing the only real upset of the weekend, teams have to move swiftly along to this set of games before some sides head off to continental league competition.

Orlando Pirates  15/20
Draw  23/10
Chippa United  37/10
Chippa caught Pirates in a lacklustre part of their early season and managed to get a deserved 1-0 win at home. Now they travel to Soweto looking to take more points of the giants. Bucs played out the Soweto Derby to a draw that they would’ve been satisfied with considering the AmaKhosi’s fierce home record. With Bucs’ momentum firmly on the up, they’ll be a totally different outfit hosting Chippa to that which lost to them last time out. Chippa have only scored five goals away from home all season, so taking Pirates for the win shouldn’t be a problem.

AmaZulu  5/2
Draw  21/10
Bidvest Wits  11/10
AmaZulu are far from out of their rut, but would’ve been motivated by the point gained on the road against Black Aces on the weekend. Still facing a six-point deficit at the bottom, they’ll need more opportunities like that to save them this season. Wits were the disappointment of the big sides on the weekend, losing at home to a Celtic side with nothing great to offer. They may travel to Durban with less confidence than Usuthu would’ve been expecting, but it’s still going to be a tough outing for the hosts. Wits are unbeaten in their last six games on the road and I expect the same on Tuesday evening. Get Wits for the win.

University of Pretoria  11/10
Draw  21/10
Platinum Stars  5/2
AmaTuks continued their strong run in the league with a hard fought 1-0 win over Maritzburg United. Dikwena also got a win, their first in the league since 6 December last year. With still a lot to prove, this may be the first time ever that AmaTuks go into this sort of fixture as favourites.  Dikwena have never beaten them away, so this could add further to what seems a good chance for AmaTuks to continue their winning ways. When Stars are bad, they’re awful, but give them a sniff and they can quite easily find their game. The stats have all judges in AmaTuks’ corner, but I feel Dikwena have a small chance of upsetting things. There’s some value for a Home Draw No Bet at 6/10 considering the market, otherwise the home win may be the way to go, albeit it a little too risky for me.

Mamelodi Sundowns  5/10
Draw  27/10
Polokwane City  13/2
Sundowns bounced back after their crucial defeat to Wits to claim a convincing 2-0 win away to Free State Stars. They’re back home this week and facing a Polokwane side who aren’t content to just survive in the PSL. Despite a 3-1 loss to Pirates, they have been on a great run of late, picking up points in eleven of their last thirteen encounters. Their away form isn’t bad either, but they’re going to have to block out the 3-0 demolition they received at the hands of Sundowns earlier in the season if they want to survive this one. Despite Downs’ slip up against Wits, I can’t see them battling too much here. Polokwane’s negative goal difference is a tell tale sign that Pitso Mosimane will want to exploit. It may be closer than their previous encounter, but at 9/20 a home win, it’s tough to see any other result.

Moroka Swallows  16/10
Draw  2/1
Free State Stars  7/4
Both sides have made a meal of this year’s PSL campaign. Sitting thirteenth and fifteenth respectively, Stars and Swallows have it all to do to avoid relegation here. In a game of this nature, where neither side needs the points more desperately than the other, it’s often tough to find a good bet before kickoff. Another thing these sides have in common is their awful scoring records and with both sides averaging around 0.5 goals per game, it seems the Under 2.5 Goals market is statistically the best bet to take. The spoils could go either way, but one thing’s for certain, it won’t take too many goals to decide it. 6/10 isn’t great value, but it’s where I’m headed on this one.

Ajax Cape Town  8/10
Draw  22/10
Mpumalanga Black Aces  37/10
From just about escaping relegation not so long ago, Ajax have improved leaps and bounds to find themselves in fifth spot in the league. They face a somewhat disappointing Black Aces side, who had to settle for a point, at home, to lowly AmaZulu. A win would’ve seen them into the top ten, a spot they really should be competing for more. They travel to the Mother City with a tough task at hand despite having the better of Ajax earlier in the season. Since then they met in cup competition where Ajax rolled the them 3-0. I don’t expect quite the same this time out, but a home win looks a good bet and at 8/10 there seems more value than what I expected. Get on!

Bloemfontein Celtic  27/20
Draw  21/10
SuperSport United  2/1
Against my prediction, Celtic came out on the weekend and put up a good showing to down Wits in their own back yard. This catapulted them into sixth, a place that seemed distant for them not so long ago. They face a SuperSport side coming off disappointing back-to-back losses and haven’t won in the league since upsetting Chiefs almost a month ago. A win here will take them level with Celtic and despite their indifferent form of late, their previous seven results in their last ten visits to Bloemfontein suggests they should be good to pick up at least a point. At 5/10 for an Away/Draw Double Chance, I think it seems the best market to go for in this one. Lerato Lamola has been on fire for Celtic and if Gordon Igesund can devise a solid strategy to keep him at bay, SuperSport should come away with something.

Maritzburg United  37/10
Draw  23/10
Kaizer Chiefs  15/20
I’ve been debating the pros and cons of continually following Chiefs’ superior form, but there comes a time when looking deeper may result in some hidden value. Maritzburg may not be a league winning side but I feel they may have a chance to pull off a point here against the log leaders. This same fixture last season was 2-2 thriller that saw Chief score in the 79th minute to salvage a point. Maritzburg have been on a shocking run of late that’s seen them slide into tenth, with their last win coming against Pirates at the beginning of December. The KZN side love a big game to turn up their performance and I fancy them to do so on Wednesday night against last year’s runners-up. The draw is at a healthy 23/10 and is my value bet of the gameweek. Good luck out there!

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