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ABSA Premiership Week 17 Preview

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

As we enter the last week of PSL action for 2014,  another coach departs. Ernst Middendorp’s exit from Bloemfontein Celtic means there are only seven coaches left in the position they started the season in. The irony that Clinton Larsson replaces him, who just over a year ago lost the very same position, just shows what a dogged league this is. It makes you feel a lot safer as a punter somehow, despite always complaining about the tricky betting conditions. With a full field of fixtures to get into, let’s not digress any further.

Polokwane City vs University of Pretoria | Tuesday 16 December | Peter Mokaba Stadium | 15:00
The first public holiday game kicks off up north, where top form Polokwane City take on an AmaTuks side trying to improve their prospects this season. The home side come into this game unbeaten since mid-October, and the confidence with which they fought out an away draw at SuperSport United last Saturday is definitely something for punters to pick up on. AmaTuks have their fits and starts and are unbeaten in their last six games. A lack of wins, however, means they’re barely moving upwards. The last time AmaTuks beat the home side was back in 2006 and were handed a solid 3-0 drubbing last time they visited Polokwane. At 8/10 a home win, there’s definite value there.

Kaizer Chiefs vs Free State Stars | Tuesday 16 December | Peter Mokaba Stadium | 18:00
AmaKhosi previews seem to write themselves at the moment. Their last win against an in-form Chippa side just showed their resilience. Despite a late training ground injury to Willard Katsande, Chiefs will go into this fixture with the same depth of squad that’s seen them yet to lose a game. Free State Stars, for what it’s worth, claimed a credible away draw on the weekend at Black Aces, but simply don’t have enough of a strikeforce to begin to make me think twice. Stranger things have happened, but there’s no way anything other than a Chiefs win can be justified here. You’re getting 11/20, perhaps considering Chiefs will feature in a double header at Peter Mokaba Stadium.

Ajax Cape Town vs AmaZulu | Tuesday 16 December | Cape Town Stadium | 19:30
The PSL have laid the fixtures out nicely, ensuring back-to-back viewing for fans. Usuthu fans may want to skip this one, however. Despite Ajax going down 4-0 away at Pirates (yes, I called that), they have been a brick wall at home and AmaZulu’s putrid attacking options should provide little resistance here. Surprisingly, they came from behind to claim a point away at KZN rivals Maritzburg United, and rumour has it the mood in the camp is upbeat. This may help them fight relegation, but until they show results on the pitch, I can’t back the Durban boys. Ajax are 5/10 a win, and worthy of popping into your bets for this gameweek.

Maritzburg United vs Mamelodi Sundowns | Tuesday 16 December | Harry Gwala Stadium | 20:00
Both sides earned disappointing draws on the weekend. Mentioned previously, the home side surrendered a lead and had to share points with lowly AmaZulu, while Downs were held away at cross-town rivals AmaTuks. Both sides sit three points apart, with Downs having the slightly better form sitting in third spot. Whilst Maritzburg will relish home ground advantage, Downs have only lost once away from home this season. Grinding out away points is a vital quality to have in the PSL and I fancy Pitso’s men to do the same in this one. The Sundowns/Draw Double Chance is at 3/10, but perhaps wait until fifteen minutes in to get on. You’ll hopefully get around 9/20 for it.

Moroka Swallows vs Orlando Pirates | Wednesday 17 December | Dobsonville Stadium | 19:30
The Buccaneers grabbed a moral boosting 4-0 win at home against an Ajax side with very decent potential. This was the result they needed and it seems Eric Tinkler has once again stepped up to the caretaker spot with a good result. The run needs to continue and the poor run of Swallows could provide a good chance. Sitting in tied second-last is no fun and the Dube Birds are under pressure to improve. They have awful home form and you have to go back to the 26th of August to find their last 3-pointer at home. Pirates will make the short journey with ease and should continue where they left off on the weekend. Pirates have little away value at 13/20 so be weary to include in lengthy multiples. They don’t have the consistency yet to confidently include with others.

Platinum Stars vs Chippa United | Wednesday 17 December | Royal Bafokeng Stadium | 19:30
Stars have managed a three-match unbeaten run in the league and have separated themselves from the wooden spoon battle by a single point. The test comes on Wednesday though, as bullish Chippa United come to town. They had a bit of wind kicked out their sails after a 1-0 defeat against Chiefs, but I still feel their ‘nothing to lose’ attitude will stand them in good stead here. Stars haven’t lost at home since late August, and will want this to continue. As an outright bet, a draw looks the way to go here, but look to Chippa to nick some points here. The stalemate is at 2/1 with the Chippa/Draw Double Chance paying a decent 4/10.

Bidvest Wits vs SuperSport United | Wednesday 17 December | Bidvest Stadium | 19:30
Wits are back home midweek and are full value for their second spot in the PSL. Bar the loss to Chiefs earlier this month, they have been unstoppable, and coming to visit the university stadium has never been more difficult. SuperSport would’ve wanted more from their home draw against Polokwane City on the weekend and they boast a decent away record in this head-to-head. They beat Wits in Joburg in the cup back in October and will want to draw on this as inspiration for Wednesday night’s vital clash. I’m going against the grain here and predicting a draw. Wits have an age-old nemesis coming to town, and they’ll need to be in top form to win. Get it at 22/10.

Mpumalanga Black Aces vs Bloemfontein Celtic | Wednesday 17 December | Mbombela Stadium | 19:30
Celtic welcome back their predecessor, Clinton Larsson, in a move only seen in the PSL. We’ll see how things progress, but you can’t help feeling they’ve taken a step backwards. They come up against a Black Aces side that have never beaten Celtic. Whether this is their chance to change this or not it’s tough to say. Being in slightly better form than their guests will help Black Aces but I think they’ve been priced way too short. The hosts will have to overcome the omen that Celtic hold on them and for that reason I’d go for the draw here. At 21/10 you could be on some good value.

The man knows his football, but even he gets it wrong from time to time. Feel free to share your PSL tips and multiples below.

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