Our writer previews the round 15 of the South African National First Division.
For the last time this year the South African NFD will keep us entertained and hopefully provide us with one final winning ticket. Nobody seems to be a match for Thanda Royal Zulu at the moment. The men from Richard's Bay are unbeaten and are now seven points clear at the summit. Royal Eagles are hot on their heels and will do their utmost best to push their KZN title-rivals all the way.
AmaZulu, University of Pretoria and Jomo Cosmos have been surprisingly off the pace this season, while Santos and newcomers Magesi FC are placed in the drop zone. Every NFD side will be giving their all this weekend to ensure they go into the break on a high, so place your precious cash accordingly. So, for the last time this year, let’s get to it. Wishing all our NFD followers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Friday 16 December
Cape Town All Stars 13/10 | Draw 21/10 | Magesi FC 18/10
Cape Town All Stars and Magesi FC will lock horns on Friday afternoon in a mid-season relegation battle. The Capetonians are unbeaten in their last five home games, claiming two hard-fought victories in the process.
Newly-promoted Magesi FC are placed at the foot of the table with just two wins from 14 games. They have the worst away record in the league suffering six losses from seven matches, scoring five goals and conceding 17 times. With home advantage, Cape Town All Stars are tipped to claim maximum points.
Saturday 17 December
University of Pretoria 23/20 | Draw 43/20 | Mthatha Bucks 2/1
University of Pretoria will take on Mthatha Bucks at the Tuks Stadium on Saturday. The home side look to have turned a corner in recent weeks with three wins from their last four games, including consecutive victories.
Mthatha Bucks are undefeated in their last eight matches but claiming just two wins in that space. However, they are without a win in their last five travels which doesn’t bode well for their chances against an in-form AmaTuks side. The home win should be backed.
Black Leopards 27/20 | Draw 2/1 | Royal Eagles 17/10
Black Leopards and Royal Eagles will go toe-to-toe in what promises to be an entertaining affair. Lidoda Duvha are unbeaten in their last four matches and have an excellent record on home soil against their opponents, winning the last three meetings, scoring nine times and conceding just twice.
Royal Eagles are seven points off Thanda Royal Zulu in second place on the table. The KwaZulu Natal based side have managed just one victory from seven outings. A cagey affair is on the cards, but Black Leopards should do enough to claim the win.
Witbank Spurs 9/10 | Draw 21/10 | Real Kings FC 26/10
Witbank Spurs are pitted against Real Kings FC on Saturday. The hosts were annihilated last time out after Mbombela ran riot at Kanyamazane Stadium with a 5-1 victory. However, Witbank are unbeaten in their last five matches and will be determined to keep that record intact.
Real Kings FC were impressive last time out earning a well-deserved and hard-fought 1-0 victory over title-chasers Stellenbosch FC. However, their away record leaves a lot to be desired as the newcomers are without a win on the road. Nonetheless, Witbank will be pretty fragile after last week’s humiliating defeat. Back Real Kings to claim their first away win of the season.
FC Cape Town 7/4 | Draw 21/10 | Mbombela United 27/20
FC Cape Town are without a victory in their last five matches, whilst Mbombela are unbeaten in their last six matches in all competitions, claiming four victories. The African Beasts have one of the worst home records in the league this season and Mbombela will be eager to exploit that.
The away team pulled the double over FC Cape Town last season, winning 2-1 on home soil before thrashing the African Beasts 4-1 in their own backyard. Back Mbombela United to get the job done yet again.
Stellenbosch FC 13/10 | Draw 21/10 | Thanda Royal Zulu 17/10
Stellenbosch FC and Thanda Royal Zulu will do battle in this week’s most high-profile NFD clash. The home side are going throw a rough patch of form and are now winless in their last five league games.
Thanda Royal Zulu remain the only unbeaten side in the league, scoring 29 goals and conceding 10 times. Stellenbosch did manage a hard-fought 1-0 victory over the KZN side in the Nedbank Cup last week but Amabhubesi will be determined to make sure that doesn’t happen again. The draw looks a likely result.
Sunday 18 December
Jomo Cosmos 9/10 | Draw 22/10 | Santos 26/10
Jomo Cosmos will take on relegation-threatened Santos on Sunday afternoon. Jono Sono’s men have been inconsistent this term but remain unbeaten on their ground with four wins and three draws from seven games.
Santos are without a victory in their last 13 matches in all competitions and are winless on their travels, including back-to-back defeats. Jomo Cosmos are unbeaten at home against Santos in the last eight meetings and are tipped to build on that.
AmaZulu 21/20 | Draw 43/20 | Milano United 22/10
AmaZulu and Milano United are next up to battle it out for the all-important victory. Usuthu have been on the up in recent weeks with consecutive wins, whilst Milano have been in the opposite form losing two games on the bounce.
Milano United have won of the worst away records in the league this season, suffering five losses from six matches, scoring five goals and conceding 15 times. The home win is tipped.
TREBLE @ 84/10
Cape Town All Stars Win 13/10
University of Pretoria Win 23/20
Jomo Cosmos Win 9/10
Written by Aaron Crowie @Hollywoodbets