Our football scribe previews gameweek 17of the South African PSL.
What a way for the PSL to make its return! With 25 goals in just eight matches, we were treated to an absolute goal-fest in gameweek 16. There are only two days of rest for our local football stars before the ABSA Premiership returns this Saturday afternoon, with five pulsating fixtures to look forward to, including a mouth-watering tie between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates.
The 2016/17 season has been one filled with plenty of twists and turns. SuperSport, Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City are level on points at the summit while Kaizer Chiefs remain just one point off the trio. Let’s take a look at what we can expect this weekend!
Saturday 11 February
Golden Arrows 1/1 | Draw 21/10 | Bloem Celtic 5/2
Golden Arrows and Bloemfontein Celtic will square off in one of two Saturday afternoon clashes. The Durbanites were humiliated on Wednesday evening, going down 5-2 at SuperSport United and will look to bounce back to winning ways against Celtic.
The latter has managed just two wins from seven away games, scoring a measly four goals in the process. But they have a terrific record against Abafana Bes'thende, suffering just two defeats in the last 23 meetings.
Arrows are without a win in their last seven matches with four defeats but home advantage will give them a massive boost. A cagey affair is expected and the sides are tipped to cancel each other out.
Mamelodi Sundowns 7/10 | Draw 23/10 | Orlando Pirates 15/4
Sundowns and Pirates will go toe-to-toe in what is undoubtedly the PSL match of the weekend. The Brazilians have been in great form with seven wins from their last eight matches and have won four of their five home games, scoring 15 goals and conceding just four times.
Pirates on the other hand, are winless in their last five league games, with two defeats, including a goalless draw at Platinum Stars last time out. The Bucs are currently placed 10th on the standings with only four victories from 14 matches.
Tendai Ndoro has no doubt been Pirates' Player of the Season so far, as he leads the goal scoring chart with 11 to his name. The Buccaneers will look to the free-scoring Zimbabwean to give them the upper hand, in what promises to be a scintillating contest.
Sundowns have an abundance of quality at their disposal with the likes of Khama Billiat, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Leonardo Castro and Themba Zwane to name a few. Bafana baStyle are six points off the table-toppers with several games in hand over the teams above them, due to their participation in the CAF Champions League (which they won).
The Brazilians are looking composed and in control at present while the Bucs are lacking a cutting edge - other than the goal scoring prowess of Ndoro. Downs won the reverse tie 2-1 and are well worth a punt to pull the double over their opponents. The home win is the way to go.
Ajax Cape Town 39/20 | Draw 22/10 | Cape Town City 23/20
The Urban Warriors will take on high-flying Cape Town City in a derby match on Saturday evening. Ajax were in top form prior to the mid-season break with five wins from their last six matches, including three consecutive home victories. However, they were knocked off their high horse on Tuesday evening, as title-chasers Bidvest Wits ran-riot, claiming a resounding 5-0 victory.
Cape Town City will be determined to keep in touching distance of top spot with a victory over a vulnerable looking Ajax side. They come into this match off the back of an outstanding 3-0 home win over Highlands Park and will be eager to build on that. Cape Town City are tipped to grind out a narrow victory.
Maritzburg United 28/10 | Draw 23/10 | Kaizer Chiefs 17/20
Saturday’s final PSL battle pits Maritzburg United up against Kaizer Chiefs. The Team of Choice stretched their run without a defeat to six matches last time out with a hard-earned 1-1 draw at Polokwane City.
AmaKhosi may have made a slow start to the campaign but they are certainly coming to life now. Three wins on the spin has seen them back in contention to claim the all-important title. Their record at Maritzburg doesn’t read well, however, with the Glamour Boys failing to win in their last six visits, drawing five times and suffering one defeat.
Kaizer Chiefs will most likely dominate possession but it will take a great performance to see off the Team of Choice, who have been difficult to break down. Get on the Maritzburg win/draw Double Chance at 79/100.
Sunday 12 February
Highlands Park 22/10 | Draw 22/10 | Polokwane City 11/10
Lastly, Highlands Park will take on Polokwane City on Sunday afternoon. The corresponding fixture proved to be an entertaining contest, with Polokwane City grinding out a 3-2 victory in a five-goal thriller.
Highlands Park find themselves in 15th place on the table, just a point above the drop zone. They have registered just two wins from 16 matches with both those victories coming on home soil. Polokwane City have lacked consistency but will look to expose this underperforming Highlands Park side. Back the away team to come out on top.
Written by Aaron Crowie @Hollywoodbets