South African NFD: Week 19 Preview

 NFD: Week-19-Preview

Our writer previews the round 19 of the South African National First Division. 

We are now 18 rounds of NFD football down with just a dozen to go until the PSL play-offs. Thanda Royal Zulu remain in pole position for automatic qualification, while there are plenty of candidates set to battle it out for the play-off places.

At the bottom of the standings, Milano United, Santos and Magesi FC are all in danger of suffering relegation and all three teams will be desperate to turn their woeful campaign’s around. There are a few eye-catching ties to look forward to this weekend, so let’s get to it!

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Friday 24 February

Cape Town All Stars 14/10 | Draw 21/10 | Stellenbosch FC 18/10 
Cape Town All Stars and Stellenbosch FC will square off on Friday afternoon. The home side have been in great form in recent weeks with three consecutive wins (all 1-0 victories) and are unbeaten in their last eight home games in all competitions.

Stellenbosch FC have been inconsistent in recent weeks but have the joint second best away record in the league. The reverse tie ended 1-1 and the sides are tipped to share the spoils once more. 

Saturday 25 February

Black Leopards 9/10 | Draw 22/10 | Witbank Spurs 3/1 
Black Leopards are the most in-form team in the league in recent weeks with four wins on the spin. Their opponents. Witbank Spurs, are without win in their last three matches, including a disappointing 1-0 home defeat against Cape Town All Stars last weekend.

Lidoda Duvha are firing on all cylinders and look good value for money to make it five wins on the spin. Black Leopards have won seven of the last nine meetings on their ground against Witbank. The home win is on the cards. 

FC Cape Town 11/10 | Draw 22/10 | Santos 5/2 
FC Cape Town are placed 13th on the table with just five wins from 18 games. The African Beasts are off the back of a hard-fought 2-1 defeat away to Stellenbosch FC and will now face a stern test in the form of Santos, who claimed their second win of the season last time out – a 1-0 home win against Milano United.

Santos are yet to win on the road, scoring seven goals and conceding 14 times. However, it’s derby games such as this, the form guide usually goes out the window. The draw should be backed. 

Milano United 5/2 | Draw 22/10 | Royal Eagles 11/10 
Milano United have been disastrous in recent weeks with six league defeats on the trot. The Capetonians have lost back-to-back matches on their ground and will be desperate to claim maximum points here.

Royal Eagles were involved in a five-goal thriller last time out, earning a well-deserved 3-2 home victory over Mthatha Bucks. However, the Durbanites have lost their last three matches on the road and should struggle here. The teams are tipped to cancel each other out. 

Mthatha Bucks 9/10 | Draw 22/10 | Magesi FC 3/1 
Mthatha Bucks are unbeaten in their last 19 home games in all competitions. Bottom-of-the-log Magesi FC have registered a lousy two wins from 18 games this season. The newcomers have claimed just one win from nine travels, scoring six goals and conceding 18 times.

The corresponding fixture ended 1-1 but with home advantage, Mthatha Bucks should do enough to claim the win. Back the home side to pile more misery on Magesi FC. 

University of Pretoria 5/2 | Draw 21/10 | Thanda Royal Zulu 11/10 
The University of Pretoria are undefeated in their last five matches, including a hard-fought 1-0 victory away to Magesi FC last time out. Thanda Royal Zulu are unbeaten in the league with 11 wins from 18 matches and will be determined to maintain that record.

Back-to-back stalemates for the KwaZulu-Natal based log-leaders would have killed a bit of their momentum. Back AmaTuks to give Thanda Royal Zulu their first defeat of the season with a nail-biting, narrow victory. 

Jomo Cosmos 9/10 | Draw 22/10 | Mbombela United 3/1 
The penultimate match of the weekend sees Jomo Cosmos play host to Mbombela United. The home side are unbeaten on their ground this season with six wins and three draws from nine games, scoring 15 goals and conceding only six times.

Mbombela United have been poor in recent weeks with three losses from their last four matches. They are yet to win a match on the road and that doesn’t look likely to Improve here. The home win is the way to go. 

Sunday 26 February

AmaZulu 8/10 | Draw 23/10 | Real Kings 33/10 
AmaZulu are off the back of a hard-fought 2-2 draw away to table-toppers Thanda Royal Zulu and will be looking to build on that with a win against KwaZulu-Natal based side Real Kings. The Newly-promoted side are winless on the road, including three 1-0 defeats on the spin.

The reverse tie ended 2-0 to Real Kings. This encounter should go down to the wire and the draw looks a likely result. 

Black Leopards Win (9/10) 
Mthatha Bucks Win (9/10) 
Milano United v Royal Eagles Draw (22/10)

Written by Aaron Crowie @Hollywoodbets

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