Our writer previews the South African NFD matchups for the upcoming weekend.
This weekend we'll welcome the return of club football following a brief interval for the international break. It’s gameweek five of the South African NFD and Thanda Royal Zulu are at the summit of the table with fellow Durbanites AmaZulu trailing just three points behind them in second.
Cape Town All Stars are rooted to the bottom of the log and remain the only team in the league yet to win a match. If things don’t change soon, they will likely find themselves in a relegation struggle for the remainder of the season. There are a few cracking contests this week and I’m confident that I can find the value in them. That’s enough chit chat for now, let’s get to it!
Saturday 15 October
Black Leopards 1/1 | Draw 21/10 | University of Pretoria 5/2
Black Leopards and University of Pretoria will lock horns in what promises to be an entertaining affair. Lidoda Duvha are unbeaten since their opening match of the season, claiming two wins and two draws from their last four matches.
University of Pretoria will be eager to find their footing after suffering back-to-back defeats, without scoring and conceding four times. However, AmaTuks have won the last two meetings at Black Leopards and Shaun Bartlett will be determined to ensure his team claim at least a point. The sides are tipped to cancel each other out.
Witbank 12/10 | Draw 21/10 | Santos 21/10
Witbank Spurs and Santos will go toe-to-toe with both teams currently going through a slump in form. Siyavutha have been poor of late with consecutive defeats, scoring just once and conceding seven times, whilst Santos are winless in their last four games.
In the last nine meetings between these sides, they have only played out to one draw. But judging by the way both teams are playing, I wouldn’t be surprised they play out to one of those rare stalemates. Back the draw in what is likely to be a cagey encounter.
FC Cape Town 33/20 | Draw 19/10 | Thanda Royal Zulu 33/20
FC Cape Town will take on table-toppers Thanda Royal Zulu at the NNK Rugby Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The hosts have looked impressive in recent weeks, winning two matches on the bounce against Royal Eagles and AmaZulu respectively – both by the same scoreline (2-1).
Thanda Royal Zulu are the only team unbeaten in the league, registering four wins from five matches, scoring 15 goals and conceding just four times. Amabhubesi are unbeaten in the last five meetings against FC Cape Town and are tipped to edge the win here.
Stellenbosch FC 7/10 | Draw 23/10 | Milano United 15/4
Stellenbosch and Milano United will square off in a Cape Town derby. The latter have been in top form in recent weeks with three wins on the spin, while Milano United have been dismal thus far with three defeats from five games and as a result lie second from bottom on the log.
When it comes to derby matches, form usually goes out the window. But Stellenbosch are looking too good at present and are tipped to come out on top.
Mbombela United 12/10 | Draw 21/10 | Royal Eagles 21/10
Mbombela United find themselves in the bottom half of the table and will be eager to return to winning ways. They have managed just one win from five matches, while their opponents, Royal Eagles, have won two of their last three games.
It’s a tough one to call, but if I had to put my head on the block, I would back Eagles on the Double Chance at 11/20.
Real Kings FC 12/10 | Draw 21/10 | Magesi FC 21/10
Newcomers Real Kings FC will play host to fellow newly-promoted Magesi FC at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium. The teams occupy 13th and 14th place on the log respectively. Both sides have claimed just one win from five matches, with neither looking promising on the betting front.
Real Kings were hammered 5-1 at Thanda Royal last time out, but will offer a much stern test in their own backyard. Magesi FC have suffered three losses from five games, scoring four times and conceding double that amount. A tight contest is on the cards and the draw looks a likely result.
Sunday 16 October
Jomo Cosmos 14/10 | Draw 2/1 | AmaZulu 19/10
Jomo Cosmos will be looking to take down a wounded AmaZulu team who fell to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of FC Cape Town before the international break. Jono Sono’s team are on the up with consecutive victories, but Usuthu have won three of their five games.
The teams have drawn their last seven meetings against each other. Looking at the form cards, another draw is the way to go.
Cape Town All Stars 2/1 | Draw 2/1 | Mthatha Bucks 13/10
Cape Town All Stars will take on Mthatha Bucks on Sunday, looking to bag their first three points of the campaign. Mthatha Bucks made a strong start to the season, bagging two wins on the bounce, but have since then struggled and are now without a win in three matches.
Cape Town All Stars won this fixture 1-0 last season and this matchup will most likely go down to the wire yet again. With home advantage All Stars are tipped to nip the win.
Written by Aaron Crowie @Hollywoodbets