NFD: Week 11 Preview

Week 8 Preview Our football writer previews the NFD week 11 action which gets underway on Saturday 18 November 2017. 

Highlands Park have managed to hold on to top spot with University of Pretoria in hot pursuit. Jomo Cosmos have put themselves in a good position to contend for PSL promotion with an emphatic victory over Black Leopards.

On the wrong end of the table, it looks like it will take something of a miracle for Ubuntu Cape Town to survive relegation while Richards Bay might just escape if they find that killer touch as they’ve drawn their last four matches. Let’s try and foretell week 11 results.

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Saturday 18 November

Black Leopards 13/10 | Draw 21/10 | Mthatha Bucks 19/10
Black Leopards are not having a great season as they come into this clash off back-to-back defeats and they are placed 13th on the log. Lidoda Duvha have only won two of their opening 10 fixtures.

By their standards and level of expectation, Mthatha Bucks are also struggling. They currently occupy 10th place on the NFD standings. They have won three and drawn four of their opening 10 matches. Their recent form isn’t great as they have lost three times over the last five matches. A draw is a likely result.

Mbombela United 12/10 | Draw 21/10 | Tshakhuma FC 2/1
Mbombela were held to a goalless draw at struggling Richards Bay last week. That saw them slide down the table into fourth place. However, they are only three points off the top and a win will surely keep them in contention.

After a poor start to the season, Tshakhuma have turned their fortunes around and they remain undefeated in their last five matches with two wins and three draws. That has seen the Limpopo outfit climb to sixth place with 15 points after 10 games. My money is on Mbombela to win at home.

Richards Bay 33/20 | Draw 19/10 | Witbank Spurs 33/20
Richards Bay are in the relegation zone with only Ubuntu Cape Town below them on the log. They head into this crucial clash with a recent record of four consecutive draws. The New Rich Boyz will count on homeground advantage to give them the upper hand. Last week they managed to hold Mbombela to a goalless draw at home.

Witbank are one of the most inconsistent teams this season with a mixed bag of results in recent weeks. They come into this one off the back of three matches without tasting defeat, however, last week they were held to a 1-1 draw by struggling Royal Eagles. This match is likely to end in a draw.

Royal Eagles 13/10 | Draw 21/10 | Real Kings FC 19/10
The honeymoon period is over for the newly-appointed Zipho Dlangalala who won two games in a row after taking over the Royal Eagles coaching reigns from Alan Freese. Since then, he has lost two and drawn one. He has a mammoth of a task against defensively organised Real Kings in the KZN derby.

Real Kings who are known for their defensive approach managed to keep a clean sheet last week and over and above that scored that all-important goal to overcome Cape Town All Stars 1-0. This was their second 1-0 win in a row. I’m leaning towards the 1-0 trend continuing against Royal Eagles.

University of Pretoria 9/20 | Draw 28/10 | Ubuntu Cape Town 11/2
It’s all going south for Ubuntu Cape Town as they remain at the bottom of the table without a single win in 10 games. It’s going to be a very tough fixture for them against Tuks who are among the league title contenders.

AmaTuks are in hot pursuit of the top spot as only one point is the difference between them and Highlands Park at the summit of the table. They showed unparalleled fighting spirit last week, managing to grind out a 1-0 win at home against Uthongathi FC. Only a miracle can stop Shaun Bartlett’s boys from collecting maximum points here, back them.

Uthongathi 2/1 | Draw 21/10 | Highlands Park 12/10
Uthongathi lost their second game of the season last week, going down 1-0 at high-flying University of Pretoria. This is another stern test against top-placed Highlands Park and they really have to produce a magical performance to hand them their first defeat in five matches.

Highlands Park top the standings and they head to KwaZulu-Natal with a recent record of three straight wins. The table toppers demolished a credible opponent, Stellenbosch 3-0 last week and only complacency can topple them over against the Cane Cutters. My money is on Highlands Park.

Sunday 19 November

Stellenbosch 12/10 | Draw 21/10 | Jomo Cosmos 2/1
This is a top of the table clash with two teams with contrasting fortunes going head to head. Stellenbosch are winless in the last four matches which saw them relinquish top spot and drop down to fifth position.

Jomo Cosmos are high on confidence with a recent record of three consecutive wins. As seasoned campaigners who have gained PSL promotion a couple of times, Ezenkosi should know how to maintain competitiveness under these situations as they now sit third on the standings. Ezenkosi should win this one for they have big match temperament.

Super Eagles 14/10 | Draw 2/1 | Cape Town All Stars 18/10
Super Eagles are really finding life difficult in the second tier of South African football as they lie only one spot above the relegation zone. They are without a victory in the last four league games.

Cape Town All Stars are very inconsistent with four wins and four defeats ever since the season started. They are ninth on the log and this is a perfect chance to climb up the table against lesser opposition. I’m expecting the team from the Mother City to triumph.

TREBLE @ 17/2
University of Pretoria Win 9/20
Highlands Park Win 12/10
Jomo Cosmos Win 2/1



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