ABSA Premiership Week 26 Preview

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

It’s official. We’re as thick into the business end of the league as you can imagine. Most teams have just five or six games left, so you can just envisage the ‘carpe diem’ speeches being thrown around PSL change rooms nationwide. This gameweek sees seven fixtures, with just two sides not in action, so there are plenty of opportunities for punters to seize the few remaining moments with gusto.

Tuesday 14 April

Bidvest Wits  19/10
Draw  2/1
Orlando Pirates  14/10
Both Soweto giants are in action on Tuesday night, with Bucs travelling into the centre of Jozi to face Wits being the more eye-catching of the fixtures. Fighting for third spot, neither side are mathematically out of progressing further, leaving a lot to play for in this one. Pirates are on their usual end-of-season flurry and remain unbeaten since losing to Chiefs in December. Wits have stuttered a little more of late and haven’t picked up three points in their last three outings, all being against relatively tame opponents. They’re back home on Tuesday, where they’ve only lost thrice this season. Bucs come with some ascendancy however and I’d fancy them to get something out of this game. Either the Away Draw No Bet or a Pirates Double Chance will do, with the former seeming the better option value-wise at 7/10.

University of Pretoria  5/1
Draw  24/10
Kaizer Chiefs  6/10
Chiefs make the trip to Pretoria knowing a little more comfort at the top wouldn’t hurt, with the current ten point gap seeming more like seven with Sundowns’ game in hand against Celtic. This is really their title to lose and whilst I don’t expect plain sailing over these last few fixtures, AmaTuks will have to produce something close to their best performance this season in order to trouble the AmaKhosi. Chiefs are almost a guaranteed goal-a-game at the moment, meaning the home side would need to bring the heat in order to compete. Chiefs have suffered some recent cup disappointments but with their focus now firmly on PSL aspirations, I can’t seem them being undone here. 6/10 isn’t bad value and I’ll be having some of that for my midweek multiple.

Wednesday 15 April

Mpumalanga Black Aces  16/10
Draw  21/10
Maritzburg United  16/10
After reaching early heights, Maritzburg United have been a tad disappointing in recent months and from being confident of backing them on the road I now can see them battling against a weak Black Aces side. Both sides are capable of pulling out performances that will guarantee the three points either way, but you have to feel their strengths could nullify each other and instead it would be a case of who makes the most mistakes. Maritzburg are notorious for letting a good lead slip and this is made worse when on the road. For that reason if anyone is going to win this, I have a feeling it will be the home side. The bookies have this evenly poised and either Double Chance paying 4/10. I’m going to take Black Aces/Draw and may even have a sneaky punt on the draw at 21/10.

Platinum Stars  16/10
Draw  21/10
SuperSport United  16/10
This battle between the disappointing and the even more disappointing could well highlight the lack of venom both these sides possess. Sitting with goal differences of 0 and -8 means they’re both in a continuous battle after struggling to hold leads or falling behind and rarely making back ground. Interestingly Stars have been better at home and SuperSport on the road, meaning we could be in for a tight affair. Historically, this fixture has favoured the home side but you may find picking a winner here a tough one to call. With Stars averaging less than a goal a game at home and SuperSport averaging exactly one, it seems a low scoring ninety minutes await. There is value in the Under 2.5 Goals market at 7/10; take it and run. At this stage of the season, with lots at stake, we could see either side coming up trumps.

AmaZulu  14/10
Draw  2/1
Polokwane City  19/10
AmaZulu are still busy digging themselves out of a massive hole and with games running out, it seems every week is do-or-die for them. They’ve crawled back to just two points behind both Free State Stars and Moroka Swallows but having played an extra game. It seems ever-repetitive, but this kind of pressure could make sides produce extra special performances. This seems the case with AmaZulu and besides a 1-0 loss last time out to Chiefs, they’ve enjoyed the best run of games we’ve seen from them this season. Polokwane City find themselves sliding downward as the more pedigree sides start hitting their straps. With that said, they have a chance to pick up points here and will need to ensure AmaZulu don’t rise to the occasion. Interestingly Polokwane have never beaten AmaZulu home or away and despite this being their best PSL season yet, will need to produce a historic performance. With both sides having something to play for we could well see a hard fought draw, and whilst not the safest of bets, it is where I see some value for the punters. Three of the last four results have been stalemates and all signs seem to point to another one here at 2/1.

Mamelodi Sundowns  13/20
Draw  5/2
Bloemfontein Celtic  4/1
I’m still in awe of Celtic’s recent run of form. From playing in the relegation zone in the first bit of the season, they’ve picked themselves up and are now competing in the top five ahead of sides like Ajax Cape Town and SuperSport United. Sundowns are up to their usual antics, hoping for a Chiefs choke to give them a last go at the title. Sundowns will have to be weary of Celtic for the first time in a good couple of years; usually when these sides meet it’s almost a foregone conclusion. This could still be the case but you have to feel Celtic will arrive with a little more confidence than usual. Still, one win from eleven games from Celtic in Pretoria doesn’t hold much hope and the bookies agree. Sundowns are 13/20 for the home win and this seems enough value for me. Upsetting this record will take a lot and little more than I think Celtic can produce in the circumstances.

Chippa United  13/10
Draw  2/1
Moroka Swallows  2/1
Chippa looked impressive early on in the season but have had the reality of life in the PSL catch up with them. Sitting poised three points above Swallows and relegation is enough to motivate any side to produce results, but you have to feel that Chippa are more vulnerable that the other three sides in the scrap at the bottom. The only thing in their favour is the previous successes they’ve had against Swallows. Two wins and a draw in their last three meetings bodes well for the home side but Swallows have a lot riding on their season outcome. A typical stalwart of the PSL, it would be a shame for more than just their supporters if they went down. Unfortunately they haven’t won on the road since a 2-1 victory over AmaZulu in mid-December and this doesn’t bode well for their chances on Wednesday. A Chippa Draw No Bet will pay 6/10 and should be the value in this fixture, despite a lot of local soccer fans undoubtedly backing Swallows.

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