The first full Absa Premiership gameweek takes centre stage this weekend with some mouth-watering encounters on the menu. Let’s have a look at how the action is likely to pan out.
Friday 14 August
Chippa United 16/10
Cape Town City 16/10
Chippa United have been accused of resuming training before lockdown regulations were eased up but it looks like they’ll go unpunished. This will be Lehlohonolo Seema’s first match in charge of the Chilli Boys since he made the switch from Bloemfontein Celtic.
Cape Town City were among the first few teams to record zero positive Covid-19 cases and they have promoted seven academy graduates to ensure necessary depth since the team will be a bit rusty. It’s hard to forecast how teams will perform since they last kicked a ball five months ago and I think the game will be slow. I foresee these sides cancelling each other out.
Highlands Park 7/2
Mamelodi Sundowns 15/20
Highlands Park is one of the teams that have been quiet during lockdown. Apart from refuting claims that the club is up for sale and confirming Tendai Ndoro’s departure, there’s hasn’t been a lot of news coming out of the Makhulong-based club.
Sundowns have a bit of an advantage as by the time this fixture takes place, they’d have played two games. Having recorded a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Bidvest Wits and faced Orlando Pirates in midweek. My money is on title-chasing Sundowns who’ve got a bit of much-needed mileage in their legs.
Saturday 15 August
Golden Arrows 39/20
Stellenbosch have released Iqraam Rayners to SuperSport United and Morgan Gould before the season was completed to start preparing for next season. The Stellies have also promoted a few academy graduates to afford coach Steve Barker more team selection options. On the other hand, Arrows were unbeaten in four games prior to the lockdown and they will be looking to cement their place in the top eight. I’ll back the visitors at 39/20.
This is a massive relegation six-pointer with both teams tied on 23 points which is three points above the relegation zone. Baroka were shambolic in their Nedbank Cup match against Bloemfontein Celtic this past weekend losing 3-0. Ayanda Dlamini and Moeneeb Josephs had started their AmaZulu coaching career on a positive note beating Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 just before lockdown. I’m backing AmaZulu here.
Polokwane City 13/2
Kaizer Chiefs 4/10
Polokwane City is one of the teams that are in the relegation zone with three points separating them from bottom-placed Black Leopards. They face table-topping Kaizer Chiefs who have just released on of their key players George Maluleka since he signed a pre-contract with Mamelodi Sundowns. Amakhosi will play Wits in midweek which will afford them a chance to see where they need to improve. Ernst Middendorp’s men should win here against an embattled team.
Orlando Pirates 23/20
Bidvest Wits 23/10
Both teams head into this one off the back of two high-profile matches against Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs respectively. Pirates are eight points off the pace and they need to start thinking about preparing for next season. Wits who have already been sold showed a great deal of fighting spirit against Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup only losing 3-2 due to goalkeeping howlers from Brighton Mhlongo.
Should they fix their goalkeeping department they will be hard to beat and Ricardo Goss might be back in action as he’s finished serving his four-match suspension which makes the 23/10 all enticing now. Get on Wits to win this one.
Sunday 16 August
Black Leopards 5/1
Maritzburg United 11/20
Bottom-placed Black Leopards will be hoping to cause an upset and possibly climb out of the relegation zone. They face fifth-placed Maritzburg United who had won four consecutive games ahead of lockdown with coach Eric Tinkler and midfielder Daylon Claasen scooping PSL monthly awards. The Team of Choice should have enough to outclass the hosts here at FNB Stadium where they got the better of Kaizer Chiefs this season.
SuperSport United 7/10
Bloemfontein Celtic 4/1
SuperSport United have lost the services of Dean Furman who decided to return to the United Kingdom two months ago which has prompted the team to promote academy graduate Gape Moralo help the likes of Teboho Mokoena and Sipho Mbule in the middle of the park.
Bloemfontein Celtic showed signs of sharpness under newly-appointed coach John Maduka, trouncing Baroka 3-0 to reach the Nedbank Cup semi-finals. I’ll go with value here and take the Celtic 4/1 against a rusty opposition.
TREBLE @ 10/1
Kaizer Chiefs Win 4/10
Maritzburg United Win 11/20
Bloemfontein Celtic Win 4/1