Our soccer pundit previews the 2017 Telkom Knockout last 16 action which kicks off on Friday 27 October.
The 2017 Telkom Knockout last 16 fixtures are on display this weekend, with all PSL teams being in the thick of the action. Soweto giants, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, travel to KwaZulu-Natal for clashes against AmaZulu and Golden Arrows respectively. Check out what we have in store for the Last 16 of the Telkom Knockout below!
Friday 27 October
Maritzburg United 9/10 | Draw 22/10 | Platinum Stars 3/1
After starting the season superbly, winning their two opening games and giving eventual champions, SuperSport United, a run for their money in the MTN8 semi-finals, Maritzburg United have absolutely plummeted. The Team of Choice are winless in their five most recent league games with two defeats and three draws in that period.
Platinum Stars are rooted to the foot of the PSL table. They are the only winless team in the league this season. Roger De Sa’s men managed to fight back to salvage a confidence-boosting 1-1 draw against Orlando Pirates last week. However, Maritzburg United should be able to grind out a victory at home.
Saturday 28 October
Golden Arrows 19/10 | Draw 21/10 | Orlando Pirates 14/10
Golden Arrows sit second on the PSL log, being the only unbeaten team in the league so far this season. Abafana Bes’thende’s recent record hasn’t been great though with four draws on the trot ahead of this clash. Orlando Pirates are also winless in their last four games and they are one position below their opponents in the league.
The Buccaneers have endured three back-to-back draws which came after a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Bidvest Wits. Pirates did knock Arrows out of last season’s Nedbank Cup in the semi-finals, but a few weeks later, Arrows avenged the defeat, ensuring that Pirates don’t finish in the top eight. Arrows are tipped to win at home.
Polokwane City 12/10 | Draw 21/10 | Ajax Cape Town 22/10
Polokwane City have just followed up a four-match losing streak with two draws and one win. They now lie 12th on the league. Their dangerman, Rodney Ramagelela, is the league’s leading goalscorer with six strikes to his name.
Ajax are one of the struggling teams in the league with only two wins in eight games. They lie 13th on the PSL standings. I expect this to be a tightly-contested encounter but it should be difficult for the Urban Warriors to deal with Ramagalela and Jabulani Maluleke. I’m tipping Polokwane to triumph.
Bloemfontein Celtic 12/10 | Draw 22/10 | SuperSport United 5/2
After turning the corner and managing to go three games unbeaten, which included two wins on the spin, Celtic surprisingly lost to struggling Ajax Cape Town last week. They have won three, drawn three and lost two of their opening eight league games.
SuperSport are on fire this season. They have only played four league games due to continental commitments, collecting seven out of a possible 12 points. They have recently won the MTN8 and they have now made it to the CAF Confederations Cup final. Jeremy Brockie is the continental competition’s leading goalscorer with 10 goals, he also top-scored in the MTN8 – finding the back of the net on three occasions. I’m expecting nothing less than a victory for SuperSport United.
Bidvest Wits 12/10 | Draw 21/10 | Free State Stars 22/10
Bidvest Wits have had a stuttering start to the season, getting knocked out in the MTN8 semi-finals and only managing to collect eight out of a possible 24 points so far in the league. Over the last four matches, they have lost two and won two in alternating fashion which shows how inconsistent they are.
Free State Stars haven’t lost to Wits since the 2015 Nedbank Cup, after which there’s been nine encounters across different competitions. Ea Lla Koto are loving life under coach Luc Eymael with a recent record of four unbeaten games, including three consecutive wins. Back the visitors on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 11/20.
Kaizer Chiefs 7/10 | Draw 23/10 | AmaZulu 42/10
Kaizer Chiefs have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the league this season. In their last five games, they’ve got two wins, two draws and one defeat. Last week, they incredibly beat Sundowns 2-1 with a depleted side and managed a goalless draw against Orlando Pirates. The recently adopted three-man defence strategy seems to suit Steve Komphela’s players.
AmaZulu have recently beaten both teams that finished in the top two last season, Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits, but they have struggled against the so-called small teams. If they bring their A-game to the match at Moses Mabhida Stadium, they can give Chiefs a run for their money. However, my money is on Kaizer Chiefs.
Sunday 29 October
Baroka FC 13/10 | Draw 21/10 | Cape Town City 21/10
Baroka have shockingly turned their fortunes around this season as they top the PSL standings after nine games. They have recently suffered their first defeat of the season, going down 1-0 to Bidvest Wits.
After a perfect start to the season, Benni McCarthy’s Cape Town City have hit a slump with a recent record of three defeats in a row across three different competitions. Still, I’m expecting the defending champions to return to winning ways here.
Chippa United 22/10 | Draw 21/10 | Mamelodi Sundowns 12/10
Chippa United have finally recorded their first victory under the tutelage of Teboho Moloi after five consecutive draws. What makes their recent win remarkable is the fact that they came from behind to snatch a 2-1 win over Cape Town City.
Sundowns come into this one with their tails between their legs after two successive loses to Kaizer Chiefs and AmaZulu. Those two defeats have made it three losses across two competitions in five games. They won the other two. Put your money on Sundowns.
TREBLE @ 10/1
Maritzburg United Win 9/10
SuperSport United Win 5/2
Kaizer Chiefs Win 7/10