Absa Premiership: Week 4 Preview

Written by The Caretaker Coach for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!

We’re back from a highly disappointing international break for Bafana Bafana. A crippling 3-1 loss to minnows Mauritania has left Shake Mashaba’s chances of AFCON qualification in the gutter. Local footy lovers will be looking to heal some wounds with this weekend’s games. Pirates are absent on continental duty against African giants, Zamalek, leaving table topping Mpumalanga Black Aces with a bye. The rest line up in seven games across Saturday and Sunday.

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Saturday 12 September

Golden Arrows  22/10
Draw  22/10
Mamelodi Sundowns  12/10
Arrows host the opener this weekend against a Sundowns side stuttering off the mark this season. Arrows suffered their first league defeat a couple weeks back against Dikwena, and will be hosting Sundowns with an evident lack of goal scoring prowess against PSL defences. Home ground advantage should help their confidence, but it will be their back four that will be put to the bigger test against Sundowns’ flying forwards. Despite scoring four at home, Downs have failed to hit the net in either of their two away games so far. Frustration levels will be high in the camp and they’ll be hoping to break the drought on Saturday. With Arrows having kept two clean sheets and Sundowns still looking for goal scoring form, we could well see a low scoring affair here. Under 2.5 goals is a healthy 7/10 and looks a decent bet based on the little form we have to work with.

Free State Stars  5/4
Draw  22/10
Chippa United  2/1
Stars are looking ragged after opening the season with three consecutive losses. The 4-0 hiding handed down by defending champions Kaizer Chiefs has woken the Bethlehem locals up to the fact that relegation is a strong possibility, even this early on. A home win on Saturday will be huge for them. Chippa haven’t fared too badly after a tough opening two games. They bounced back from a 4-1 drubbing against Pirates to put four past AmaTuks, and now hit the road to similar opponents in the Free State. A repeat of their last showing will surely result in three points but away games are a consistent stumbling block in the PSL. Despite Stars’ poor start, the bookies have them priced up as favourites. I’m sticking my neck out here and suggesting you back the underdogs. A straight Chippa win will get you a handsome 2/1, but I’m playing safer and going for the Away/Draw Double Chance at 11/20 as part of my weekend multiple.

SuperSport United  22/10
Draw  22/10
Kaizer Chiefs  12/10
The first evening game sees two unbeaten sides face up in what will be the pinnacle of Saturday’s viewing. We’ll see a lot of despondent Bafana players back in their respective club squads, and it will be interesting if it brings out the best in them. Both sides have been tight at the back in their opening trio of games, with Chiefs’ more prolific goal scoring record putting them ahead on the log on goal difference. There’s little to choose between Matsatsantsa’s obvious home ground advantage and the ever present danger of the Amakhosi and the head-to-head record speaks the same truth. The home side has won the last six encounters in all competitions, so this is no easy fixtures for Chiefs to walk away with points from. The reigning champs are nevertheless priced up at 12/10 and I fancy a far tighter game than that. In fact, I’m going against the obvious grain here and picking yet another home win for the record books. Get SuperSport to turn up trumps at a decent 22/10 for the gamble.

Maritzburg United  27/20
Draw  21/10
Bloemfontein Celtic  19/10
The hosts of this one have looked out of sorts in their league efforts so far. Just a point from their opening three coming at home to PSL returnees, Cosmos, sees them second bottom with a -4 goal difference. They host a Celtic side that haven’t blown anyone away, but a decent win against Pirates and a tense 1-0 loss to Chiefs will have them in better psychological shape than their hosts. Celtic haven’t been consistent on the road this year and either seem to turn up on the day to win, or surrender three points and hop on the bus back home. They don’t have the greatest record against Maritzburg and the home side will see this historical advantage as a chance to pick up their first win of the PSL campaign. Whatever the result, I can’t see it being a humdinger to watch, and with less than 2.5 goals being scored in their last five meetings, I’m heading to that for this one. Hollywood are offering 11/20 and it seems a decent enough bet for multiples.

Ajax Cape Town  7/10
Draw  26/10
Polokwane City 38/10
In the last of the Saturday fixtures, Ajax host Polokwane in their ever protective home down south. The Polokwane lads make the great trek off the back of a morale boosting draw at home to Chiefs a couple weeks back. They’ll need more of the same so to speak, if they have a hope of leaving the Mother City with any points. Ajax’s home ground advantage continues to dominate, having not lost in almost a year. That defeat, back in October 2014, came against Chiefs, and you have to feel at this stage, that only Chiefs could make the trip to Cape Town and disrupt that record again. Polokwane will probably set up quite deep, in the hopes of salvaging a point, but if the Urban Warriors have any form on their side, they’ll come away with the three points. It’s not much value, but at 7/10, an Ajax win is worth including in your weekend perms. It’s my hopeful banker.

Sunday 13 September

Jomo Cosmos  14/10
Draw  22/10
Platinum Stars  18/10
For a large part of last season, I thought these two sides would be trading placing in the PSL and National First Division. Dikwena are far from over the dismay of last season’s performances but have kicked off their 2015/16 campaign in unbeaten style. Whilst not facing the toughest of fixtures, this is hopefully a sign of better things to come for them. Cosmos have nailed three goalless draws in a row and I don’t know whether to cut this preview short and take the 0-0 correct score here, but the game could well end that way. Dikwena have netted thrice so far, so it would be unprofessional to ignore that. Whether they’ll score again on Sunday remains to be seen, particularly being on the road, whilst Cosmos search for their first win of the season. I’m not saying risk your wages on it, but a cheeky 0-0 at 13/2 could be the crazy, yet not so crazy bet of the weekend. For the saner of our readers, under 2.5 goals looks the better bet and at 11/20 is worth a go.

University of Pretoria  18/10
Draw  22/10
Bidvest Wits  14/10
Having a university derby on a Sunday afternoon is surely a recipe for Monday morning blues. Expect low attendance in lecture halls across the Highveld. On a serious note, Wits have started like they finished last season, and look the most serious as title contenders that I’ve ever seen them. It’s still early days, but its seems Gavin Hunt has gelled a great squad of players together. Two wins and an exciting away defeat to Sundowns will have raised spirits ahead of this one, and AmaTuks will have a task on their hands. Hosting makes things a little easier, but with only a win against Polokwane City to their name, their focus will be shaking off the 4-0 demolition they received against Chippa last time out. Wits have dominated proceedings in this fixture and whilst most times this game is separated by a single goal, expect the visitors to continue this run. Wits are slight favourites at 14/10, but because they carry the burden of being the away team, the price seems right. I’m taking it and hoping to see this weekend out on a high. 

Good luck.

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