Our writer previews the South African NFD matchups gameweek 12 of the 2016/17 campaign.
After 11 rounds of entertaining NFD football, Thanda Royal Zulu remain the only unbeaten team in the league. Amabhubesi are high and mighty at the top of the standings and are five points clear of their nearest challengers, Stellenbosch FC, in second place.
Further down the table, Magesi FC, Cape Town All Stars and Santos are all battling to find their feet with just one victory apiece. Last week saw six draws from a possible eight matches, while an away team hasn’t claimed a victory in the past two gameweeks – just stats to keep in mind. That’s enough small talk, let’s get to it.
Saturday 26 November
Santos 14/10 | Draw 2/1 | Mthatha Bucks 18/10
Santos are without a win in their last 10 matches, drawing seven times and suffering three defeats, including a 3-0 hammering at Milano last time out. Mthatha Bucks are unbeaten in their last five matches but have drawn four on the spin.
A tight encounter is expected in Cape Town but judging by the way in which Santos have struggled thus far, an away win is on the cards. Back Mthatha Bucks to win by the odd goal.
Magesi FC 19/10 | Draw 21/10 | AmaZulu 13/10
Magesi FC are rooted to the foot of the table with just one win from 11 matches, scoring six goals and conceding 20 times. AmaZulu have stumbled this season, finding victories difficult to come by.
Usuthu laboured to a goalless draw on home soil against Thanda Royal Zulu last time out and will be eager to build on that. Newly-promoted Magesi FC aren’t the most dangerous going forward, neither are they strong defensively. Get on the away win.
Mbombela Utd 11/10 | Draw 21/10 | Cape Town All Stars 22/10
Mbombela United come into this off the back of a thrilling 2-2 draw away to Black Leopards, while their opponents, Cape Town All Stars managed to hold Witbank Spurs to a goalless draw on home soil.
The home side have won back-to-back matches on their ground against Jomo Cosmos (1-0), and University of Pretoria (3-1). Cape Town All Stars are winless on their travels, scoring six goals and conceding double that amount. The home win is the way to go.
Real Kings FC 12/10 | Draw 21/10 | Black Leopards 21/10
Real Kings FC are undefeated in their last six matches after playing out a goalless draw at Jomo Cosmos last time out. Black Leopards are without a win in their last four matches and have managed just one win from five travels.
Real Kings are unbeaten at home with three wins and two draws from five matches and should do enough to claim maximum points.
Royal Eagles 15/20 | Draw 23/10 | University of Pretoria 33/10
Royal Eagles will take on University of Pretoria on Saturday afternoon. The Durbanites have been brilliant on their ground with four wins from five matches, scoring 19 goals and conceding only six times.
University of Pretoria have been poor on their travels, suffering three losses from their last four matches, including two defeats on the bounce. AmaTuks pulled the double over Royal Eagles last season, but the KwaZulu Natal based time look the better side and are tipped to capitalize on home advantage.
Witbank Spurs 12/10 | Draw 21/10 | Stellenbosch FC 21/10
Witbank Spurs have been excellent at home with three wins from five matches. Stellenbosch FC are unbeaten in their last five games, bagging three victories in the process.
Witbank have won three of the last four meetings at home against Stellenbosch but looking at both teams form, this one looks set to go down to the wire. A tough one to call, but take Witbank and Stellenbosch to share the spoils.
Sunday 27 November
Milano United 12/10 | Draw 21/10 | FC Cape Town 21/10
Milano United will take on FC Cape Town at the Athlone Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The home side are unbeaten in their last five home matches, including two consecutive victories, scoring four goals without conceding.
FC Cape Town are placed 13th on the log, just three places off the relegation zone. However, African Beasts have won the last two meetings away to Milano United which shows form goes out the window in these derby games. The draw looks a likely result.
Thanda Royal Zulu | Draw 21/10 | Jomo Cosmos 22/10
Thanda Royal Zulu are unbeaten with seven wins and four draws from 11 games, scoring 25 goals and conceding just nine times. Amabhubesi have won all five of their home games and will be determined to maintain that terrific record.
Jomo Cosmos have been poor of late, suffering back-to-back defeats on their travels. They have lost the last four meetings away to Thanda and that doesn’t look like improving here. Back the home team to win.
TREBLE @ 11/1
Mthatha Bucks Win (18/10)
Mobombela United Win (11/10)
Thanda Royal Zulu Win (11/10)
Written by Aaron Crowie @Hollywoodbets