All PSL sides find themselves involved in midweek action, jam-packed into a double gameweek before a two-week international break. There are still three unbeaten sides in the league, but none with 100% win record after just four games apiece. We’re sure to be in for another competitive set of games over the next three days.
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Tuesday 22 September
Maritzburg United 12/10
Free State Stars 22/10
Both sides have got off to awful starts, with just one win between the two of them coming in the last round of fixtures. Maritzburg have subsequently shed their head coach, with acting gaffer Fadlu Davids tasked with trying to get them their first three points of the season. Barring Stars’ 3-0 drubbing of Chippa last time out, they’ve looked equally woeful, and will still be considered early season relegation candidates, perhaps more so than the home side. Stars have enjoyed the ascendancy in this fixture previously and while they may not be the odds on favourites, 11/20 for the Away/Draw Double Chance seems obvious value to me. A safe-ish bets in my eyes.
Polokwane City 24/10
Orlando Pirates 11/10
Both sides sit on four points from four games, with wins for them on the opening weekend and nothing since. Polokwane come into this off the back of two tough fixtures, with a draw against title holders Kaizer Chiefs being a dim highlight in this stuttered start. Pirates have disappointed at almost every turn so far and with their sights set on Al Ahly in the Confed Cup, they may be overlooking yet another league fixture on Tuesday evening. Eric Tinkler has assured supporters of their intent to do well in the league, but this has yet to transpire. Until such time as I see them dominate week in and week out, I will always see a Pirates game as a chance for weaker opponents to nick points where they shouldn’t. The draw’s at 22/10 and just like Bucs’ last match against Black Aces, I’m hoping it arrives with almost obvious ease.
Platinum Stars 17/20
Chippa United 31/10
Dikwena are one of the few sides to have remained unbeaten, with a precious away win last time out against Cosmos catapulting them into a share of third spot in the PSL. They’re growing some home form that was lacking last season, and the opportunity to keep the momentum going presents itself when Chippa come visiting. Things haven’t gone too well for the away side, with four points from as many games. Their away form isn’t great either, with their last win on the road coming back in October 2014 against a now-relegated AmaZulu. Stars will cherish this ‘gimme’ of a chance and should grab it with both hands. They’re 17/20 for the win, and whilst it’s not mind-blowing value, is my banker bet for Tuesday evening.
Bidvest Wits 9/10
SuperSport United 28/10
Wits are off to another hot start to the league, carrying on from their formidable finish to last season. The only blemish in their tally thus far came against long time rivals, Mamelodi Sundowns. They play hosts to Gavin Hunt’s old side, SuperSport United, where he guided them to many successful league campaigns. They’ve lost just once, but disappointing draws against Cosmos and Black Aces have hampered the progress they’d have like to have made so far. SuperSport’s away form against stronger opposition hasn’t been amazing in the league and this presents them a challenge for Tuesday night’s big clash. These two have always been a close match over ninety minutes and this brings the result into debate. Matsatsantsa could snatch a point or three here and for that reason I’ve opted for the Wits Draw No Bet at 11/20. You’ll need some cover when trying to pick this one.
Wednesday 23 September
Kaizer Chiefs 7/20
University of Pretoria 8/1
Chiefs will still be bitter about their MTN8 final defeat to Ajax, and in truth, were thoroughly beaten on the day. They have the opportunity to keep up their unbeaten run in the league, back in their fortress in Soweto, against a side they’ve beaten with a clean sheet the last five times they’ve met. In fact, the last time AmaTuks beat them was at the end of the 2012/13 season that Chiefs already had wrapped up. AmaTuks have had a woeful start and find themselves second bottom with just the solitary win to their name. They’re yet to win on the road in 2015 and with time running out in the year, they wouldn’t have wanted to be facing Chiefs to try and end that spell. Bookies have slashed any value on a Chiefs win in the league these days but with Chiefs as the Only Team To Score at 8/10, this is great value based on the recent head-to-head stats between the sides.
Mamelodi Sundowns 1/1
Ajax Cape Town 27/10
Sundowns have got off to their typically lacklustre start to the PSL and get the chance to host a home game for the first time in a month. They’ll be relieved to be back in Pretoria, where their form against the big sides tends to be solid. Ajax will make the trip up north R7 million richer after their MTN8 triumph on the weekend, and with that I’m predicting oodles of confidence. Ajax’s overwhelming strength has always been at home, but they get the chance to assert themselves in the clash of the gameweek at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday evening. Both sides possess the ability to score goals and with bragging rights on the line in the PSL’s version of the great North/South rivalry, we should be in for a tight one. Home and away will wants points and my feeling here is we’ll see the spoils split down the middle in an enthralling draw, which is currently priced at 22/10. Some sneaky value in this one I feel.
Golden Arrows 11/10
Mpumalanga Black Aces 24/10
Both of these sides have fared better than expected at the beginning of the season with the away side having the tougher games under their belt. Arrows have not disappointed as PSL returnees, picking up cracking results, including a 2-1 win over Sundowns last time out. With two wins from two at home so far, they’ll look forward to another performance in front of their faithful at King Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium on Wednesday night. They do come up against some highly in-form opposition however. Black Aces, under the guidance of Clive Barker, have also beaten Sundowns this season, as well as nicking a point off both Pirates and SuperSport among their opening four games. They travel to Kwa-Zulu Natal sporting a unbeaten record that they’ll want to uphold. There’s talk of Barker being head hunted for the vacant Maritzburg United post and Arrows will try play on this uncertainty come kickoff. Both sides have form and confidence on their side, making one thing probable; high scoring, free flowing football. At least I hope. Both Teams To Score is at even money and seems some worthwhile value in a game where the result could go either way.
Thursday 24 September
Bloemfontein Celtic 6/10
Jomo Cosmos 37/10
Our Heritage Day fixture comes to us from the Free State, when Phunya Sele Sele host the comeback kids, Jomo Cosmos. Mr Sono will come equipped with his traditional fist pumping celebration that he’ll want to unleash on what will no doubt be a festive Bloemfontein crowd. The home team have started positively, their only defeat coming on opening day in a 3-2 thriller with Polokwane. Cosmos have found their return to the PSL tough and have yet to register a win, only having scored one goal in their opening four games. The trip to play Celtic will prove one of their toughest tests to date and improving on their mediocre start looks unlikely. The bookies haven’t offered much value on a Celtic win at 6/10, but I can’t see things unfolding any other way. Enjoy the public holiday and hope the home side come through for us.