Our writer previews round three of the South African NFD, which features an early-season top of the table clash.
We head into gameweek 3 with four teams level on points at the top of the standings. Mthatha Bucks, Thanda Royal Zulu, University of Pretoria and AmaZulu are currently leading the 30-round marathon.
Two of those teams will do battle on Saturday as Mthatha Bucks play host to AmaZulu. If you looking for value and love your local football, the South African NFD is the perfect league for you to strike a bet. Let’s find out what’s good this week. Happy punting!
Saturday 17 September
Magesi FC 11/10 | Draw 21/10 | Vasco da Gama 23/10
Newly-promoted Magesi FC will take on Vasco da Gama – now known as Stellenbosch FC – on Saturday afternoon. The home team will be confident following their impressive display last time out, edging FC Cape Town 3-2 on their travels.
Stellenbosch FC have made a horrendous start to the new campaign, suffering back-to-back defeats, scoring just twice and conceding five goals. With home advantage, the newcomers are tipped to rub salt in the wounds of this vulnerable Cape side.
Milano United 14/10 | Draw 21/10 | Jomo Cosmos 18/10
Bottom-of-the-log Milano United have looked nothing like their usual entertaining, attacking selves. Instead, they have scored one measly goal, while conceding four times in the process. A drastic change in form is needed if they are to turn their fortunes around.
Jomo Cosmos have drawn both their matches thus far, playing to 1-1 stalemates against FC Cape Town in their opening match of the season, before sharing the spoils at Black Leopards last time out.
Ezenkosi will have the perfect opportunity to get their campaign up and going with a trip to under-performing Milano United. I doubt Cosmos will play to a third consecutive draw, and 18/10 for the win looks juicy on the betting front.
Mthatha Bucks 13/10 | Draw 21/10 | AmaZulu 19/10
It what is without a doubt the match of the weekend, Mthatha Bucks take on AmaZulu in a top of the table clash. Both sides have made an impressive start to the season, winning both their opening fixtures.
Bucks started with an excellent 3-1 home win against Stellenbosch FC (Vasco), and then a hard-earned well-deserved 1-0 win at Witbank Spurs. AmaZulu won 2-1 on home soil against Black Leopards, before edging Cape Town All Stars 1-0 on the road. The teams cancelled each other out in both legs last season and another draw is on the cards.
University of Pretoria 7/10 | Draw 23/10 | FC Cape Town 15/4
University of Pretoria will be determined to maintain their 100% win record to the season when With Mthatha Bucks and AmaZulu going at it, AmaTuks will have the opportunity to capitalize and make the top spot their own.
Their opponents, FC Cape Town, played to a well-deserved 1-1 draw at Jomo Cosmos in their opening match of the season, before falling to a disappointing 3-2 home defeat against newcomers Magesi FC.
University of Pretoria have beaten both Cape Town All Stars and Stellenbosch FC 2-1. Back AmaTuks to make it a third win on the trot.
Real Kings FC 15/10 | Draw 21/10 | Mbombela United 17/10
Real Kings FC will come up against Mbombela United still in search of their first ever victory in the National First Division. The Durban-based club have started the 2016/17 campaign with back-to-back stalemates, while Mbombela opened their season account with a 2-1 loss at Santos, before claiming a routine home win against Milano United.
Real Kings are likely to try utilize home advantage, but Mbombela play good counter-attacking football, so the Durbanites will need to be weary. A tight affair is expected, but the away win looks a decent wager at a hefty 17/10.
Royal Eagles 1/1 | Draw 22/10 | Cape Town All Stars 24/10
Royal Eagles started the season with high hopes and great expectations, but from their opening two matches, all they have managed to do is disappoint. They started the season with a 1-1 home draw against Real Kings, before suffering a 2-0 defeat at fellow Natalians Thanda Royal Zulu.
Cape Town All Stars have been worse off, however, plying out to consecutive defeats. Royal Eagles made an abundance of new acquisitions in the transfer window and might just need time to gel. With the quality on their books, Eagles are tipped to grind out their first win.
Sunday 18 September
Santos 9/10 | Draw 22/10 | Black Leopards 28/10
Santos will clash with Black Leopards on Sunday. The Capetonians are looking decent at present after starting the season with a 2-1 home win against Mbombela United, before drawing 1-1 at Real Kings FC.
Black Leopards are yet to claim their first win of the season and will be desperate to come good in Cape Town. Nonetheless, they have lost three of the last four meetings against Santos, including both legs last season. The home win is tipped.
Thanda Royal Zulu 8/10 | Draw 22/10 | Witbank 33/10
Thanda Royal Zulu will welcome Witbank to Richard's Bay Stadium, in the hope of making it three wins on the spin. Amabhubesi started the season with a 2-1 win at new boys Magesi FC and then followed that up with a 2-0 home win against Royal Eagles.
Witbank Spurs began the campaign with a well-deserved 2-1 win away to Milano United, prior to going down 1-0 in their own backyard against Mthatha Bucks last time out. Seven of the last nine meetings between these sides have seen Over 2.5 Goals and I am expected a high scoring draw.
Last week's DOUBLE WON @ 5 /1
University of Pretoria Win 16/10
Mbombela United Win 13/10
This week's DOUBLE @ 5/2
Magesi FC 11/10
Uni. Of Pretoria 7/10
Written by Aaron Crowie @Hollywoodbets.