NFD: Week Four Preview

Week Four Preview

Our football expert previews the NFD Week Four action which kicks off on Saturday 15 September 2018.

Four teams namely Mbombela United, Richards Bay, Ajax Cape Town and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila are tied on seven points at the summit of the NFD standings. Real Kings and Ubuntu Cape Town are languishing at the bottom after failing to secure a single point in any of their respective opening matches. The PSL promotion race and battle for survival in the second tier of South African football are on! Let’s take a closer look at this weekend’s fixtures.

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Saturday 15 September

Royal Eagles 21/10 
Draw 19/10
Tshakhuma 13/10 
Roger Sikhakhane’s Royal Eagles are winless so far and that has seen them dropping to 14th place on the log. They played out to a 1-1 draw with Richards Bay in a tightly-contested KZN derby. They’ve signed former Kaizer Chiefs striker, Lewis Macha, to help them solve their goalscoring problems.

Tshakhuma, in fourth place, are tied on seven points with top-placed Mbombela United, making the promotion chase a four-horse race. After drawing the opener 0-0 with Uthongathi, Sello Chokoe’s charges won the following two games to stay in the title race. My money is on the visitors.

TS Sporting 18/10 
Draw 19/10 
Ajax Cape Town 15/10 
TS Sporting haven’t really adapted to Benson Mhlongo’s tactics, who has been in charge for just three games. They’ve drawn one, won one and lost one of those matches. Last week, they were frustrated by Jomo Cosmos who held them to a goalless draw.

As expected, Ajax Cape Town are in the top three as they’re seeking to regain PSL promotion at the first time of asking. The Urban Warriors are unbeaten in their opening three matches. They have lost the services of Toriq Losper who recently joined Baroka FC. Put your money on Ajax to win this one.

Uthongathi v Real Kings 
*Please note that this match has been postponed until further notice due to the passing of Uthongathi FC Chairman, Nicholas "Nico" Gumede (Mkhize)

Witbank Spurs 12/10 
Draw 2/1
University of Pretoria 22/10
Witbank Spurs wasted no time in getting Vusi Mkhatshwa who has recently been sacked by TS Galaxy on board. Mkhatshwa joins Siyavutha as the second assistant to head coach Rahman Gumbi. Witbank lost 2-1 to Mbombela in the Mpumalanga derby last time out.

University of Pretoria, who are now under the tutelage of Evangelos Vellios after parting ways with Shaun Bartlett, have won one and drawn two of their opening three matches. This past weekend, they played a friendly with Orlando Pirates to keep the team fit during the FIFA break. Back AmaTuks to win this one.



Sunday 16 September

Maccabi 12/10 
Draw 2/1 
Jomo Cosmos 22/10 
Maccabi head into this one off the back of two consecutive draws and the last time out they were frustrated by Cape Umoya United who held them to a goalless stalemate. They host a Jomo Cosmos side which is still winless with one defeat and two draws so far.

Ezenkosi have expressed their delight over the return of left back, Riaan Hanamub, from national duty as he played for his native Namibia and his South African work permit has been sorted out. I’m leaning towards Maccabi winning this one.

Stellenbosch 14/10 
Draw 19/10 
Mbombela United 19/10
After winning their opener, Stellenbosch followed that up by losing two consecutive games. It’s interesting to note that all their three opening games have been away from home as they were sorting out the venue and it looks like they will play their first home game at Idas Valley in the Cape Winelands. Mbombela United look like serious contenders for automatic promotion as they currently top the standings with seven points out of nine. I think the Mpumalanga outfit will be too strong for the hosts.

TS Galaxy 12/10 
Draw 2/1 
Ubuntu Cape Town 22/10 
TS Galaxy have shown Vusi Mkhatshwa the exit door after he failed to deliver the goods three games into the season and he has been replaced by Dan “Dance” Malesela who is known for playing exciting football.

Ubuntu Cape Town were drubbed 3-1 by Uthongathi in a match where their defensive frailties manifested themselves, especially in the first half. This will be a tough test against a potentially rejuvenated host. I think Malesela will win his first match.

Monday 17 September

Cape Umoya United 14/10 
Draw 19/10 
Richards Bay 19/10 
Cape Umoya have drawn all their opening three matches, scoring and conceding one goal in the process. Roger De Sa has recalled Nathan Paulse from retirement to come and solve his scoring problems and he started in the goalless draw against Maccabi. Uyavutha Umoya have also loaned Mamelodi Sundowns and South Africa Under 20 goalkeeper Khulekani Kubheka for the rest of the season.

Richards Bay have started the season very well, collecting seven out of nine points and sitting second on the standings. Last week they missed a chance to go two points clear at the top when they drew 1-1 with struggling Royal Eagles. Let’s back Richards Bay to emerge victorious in this encounter.

TREBLE @ 15/1
Tshakhuma Win 13/10
Ajax Cape Town Win 15/10
Richards Bay Win 19/10



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