With Pirates and Chippa getting their Gameweek 2 fixture out of the way on Tuesday evening, we’re left with seven games this weekend. I would’ve enjoyed a Friday night clash, but nonetheless we have an action-packed two days of PSL action to savour.
Saturday 22 August
Mamelodi Sundowns 9/10
Bidvest Wits 3/1
Two of the top finishers of last season go head-to-head in what will ultimately be the match of the weekend from a neutral’s perspective. Downs opened up with a goalless draw away to Dikwena, while Wits have played Ajax twice in a week, picking up three points in the league at home and getting a vital away goal in a 1-1 draw in the MTN8 last weekend. Pitso’s home record last season showed its strength for the most part, with the tail end of the campaign bringing some unnecessary dropped points. This fixture last season was a cagey 0-0 draw and when this rivalry renews itself on Saturday afternoon, I’m sure we’ll see much of the same. Despite Sundowns being priced up early as 9/10 favourite, they’re going to have to do a lot for that to transpire. Gavin Hunt’s men will come at them with full force and I can see this finishing with little separating the sides. It’s not often I back a result on the nose, but I’m leaning towards the draw here at a healthy 22/10. Last season saw just a single goal from the two fixtures between these sides and I’m expecting much of the same.
University of Pretoria 31/20
Polokwane City 31/20
Both of these sides were strugglers last season and the home side have continued where they left off. They’ve failed to make any impact in past seasons in the PSL and most sides will look to them as early season relegation contenders. Polokwane were involved in a thrilling 3-2 win at home in their season opener to a much fancied Celtic side that finished last season in fine form. They’re probably spending this week prepping for this fixture wondering who is the actual underdog. Polokwane probably come in with the better form, whilst AmaTuks’ home ground advantage will serve in their favour. The bookies have priced up accordingly, setting both sides at 31/20 for the win. I’m tempted to take the price on Polokwane but the safest bet for punters wanting to string together a multiple would be a Home/Away double chance. This game has produced some lively action in the past and I’d be surprised if either side were happy with a draw when three points could be vital for their survival this season.
Mpumalanga Black Aces 18/10
SuperSport United 14/10
Both sides came away with wins in the opening weekend and will have a spring in their steps heading into this one. SuperSport unveiled the signing of Bafana Bafana captain Dean Furman in midweek which we be a huge boost to the squad and supporters. It looks as though his influence in the midfield will bear fruit for Gordon Igesund’s side. Black Aces have lost just twice at home in 2015, a record far superior than in previous years in top flight football for Amazayoni. They’ll have to be at their best when facing Matsatsantsa, with good performances from key players like Jeremy Brockie, Dove Wome and goal scorer Michael Boxall in their 1-0 victory over Pirates. It’s a tough one to call, but you have to feel SuperSport will breach the home side’s defence at some stage during the ninety minutes. Whether they can win or not is uncertain, but with the away win at 14/10 it seems the value I’d be looking for in a tight fixture like this.
Kaizer Chiefs 9/20
Free State Stars 11/2
Steve Komphela has yet to taste defeat in his new role but has come under some undue pressure from supporters for some mediocre performances from the AmaKhosi so far. Two weak cup showings and a goalless draw in the league to a poor Chippa side means they have it all to prove in front of their home support on Saturday evening. Free State Stars are the sacrificial lamb being thrown to Chiefs’ slaughter and in my opinion they’ll need to do a lot to upset the champs at home. In comparison to last season their performances are always going to be judged harshly and the bookies recognise that. At 9/20 for the win, I’d be willing to watch the first ten minutes before playing a Chiefs win Live In-play. But if you’re placing bets pre kick-off, look to the home side for a convincing victory. Fans will be eager to see their side in full flight and I’m pretty sure the players are going to oblige.
Ajax Cape Town 12/10
Maritzburg United 23/10
Ajax succumbed to Wits in their league opener, despite putting up what seemed to be the better performance of the two sides. The late-ish winner conceded would have disappointed the Urban Warriors, so returning home to face a Maritzburg side they’ve never lost to in Cape Town may cheer them up. Maritzburg played out a uneventful draw against a Cosmos side making their return to top flight football. They hit the road to Cape Town in search of at least repeating the performances they put up against Ajax last season. A draw in the Mother City and a cagey three-pointer at home means the visitors will carry some ascendancy into this fixture, despite Ajax having a slightly better season than Maritzburg. The bookies fancy Ajax at home despite the little form to go on and I tend to agree. At 12/10, I’m hoping the home side can maintain their dominant home form that’s seen them lose just twice in the PSL in 2014 and 2015.
Sunday 23 August
Bloemfontein Celtic 11/10
Platinum Stars 5/2
There were no less than three goalless draws in the opening PSL gameweek and Dikwena were unsurprisingly involved in one of them. Averaging just a goal a game last season, Stars have brought in two strikers in the form of Bongi Ntuli and Robin Ngalande to aid in getting them more points this season. Whether this will be the X factor required for Dikwena to pull off a better showing, time will tell, but they travel to the Free State to face a Celtic side who have had the better of Stars in the past couple of seasons. Separated by six points at the end of the last campaign, Celtic have won this fixture in the last three outings with Stars failing to score in either of them. Clinton Larsen will be looking to his lads to repeat this showing and the bookies seem to feel it’s a possibility too. At 11/10 the win, I tend to want to follow this trend, and backing Phunya Sele Sele may be the good value punters are looking for this weekend.
Jomo Cosmos 11/10
Golden Arrows 5/2
The two promoted sides this season come up against each other just one game into their new chance at the top. Both sides found life peachy in the NFD last season, with Arrows cruising to the league title. They also had the better of Cosmos in their encounters and interestingly enough have only ever lost this fixture at home. Arrows started the PSL season positively, with a morale boosting 1-0 win over AmaTuks, whilst Cosmos participated in the weak opener against Maritzburg which ended goalless. All this means Arrows will travel with confidence, despite Cosmos’ dominant home record. The home side are a little short for my liking however and at 11/10 I’ll be staying away. A great safe option in this would be to take the Arrows/Draw Double Chance at 11/20. For those feeling a little more adventurous, the Arrows win could be some overlooked value at 5/2.