With this being Soweto derby week, we tend to shift our focus on some of the other big matches that the DStv Premiership has to offer. On Friday night, Benni McCarthy looks for his second win in charge of AmaZulu when his Usuthu side host Steve Barker’s Stellenbosch at Kings Park Stadium, while SuperSport United look to end Swallows’ unbeaten run on Saturday.
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
Elsewhere, Golden Arrows and Maritzburg United renew their local rivalry, while Sundowns will hope to open up the gap at the top of the standings when the champions meet Chippa United on Sunday.
Standings provided by SofaScore LiveScore
*Please note that this preview was written prior to midweek’s DStv Premiership fixtures
Friday 29 January
12/10 AmaZulu | Draw 22/10 | Stellenbosch 22/10 (17:00)
AmaZulu, for the first time under Benni McCarthy, picked up their first victory, beating Baroka FC 2-0 in the city of Polokwane. Bongi Ntuli made his first start for the club this season after a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to injury, and to no surprise at all, the AmaZulu marksman returned with a goal to his name. Stellenbosch did well to end Kaizer Chiefs’ winning streak last time out, but stretched their winless run to four matches after holding Amakhosi to a goalless draw. With home advantage, I fancy Benni’s charges to get their first win in Durban under his tutelage.
Saturday 30 January
8/10 Orlando Pirates | 22/10 | Kaizer Chiefs 33/10 (15:30)
12/10 SuperSport United | 22/10 | Swallows 22/10 (17:00)
SuperSport United will be looking to do what no club has done so far in the DStv Premiership and that succumbs Swallows to defeat this season. The two clubs start the week as joint-leaders, along with Mamelodi Sundowns, who play in midweek.
With many expecting both these sides to drop off eventually, now would be the perfect time to set the record straight. SuperSport United have been free-scoring this campaign and are also undefeated in Pretoria. Swallows come off the back of a 1-1 draw against Sundowns and have shown on a number of occasions this season that they can hold their own against any opposition. My money is on a stalemate here.
12/10 Baroka | 2/1 | AmaZulu 22/10 (17:00)
Baroka seem to be telling the same story each season as they continue to drop down the table after a bright start to the season. The Limpopo-based side look to be getting worse as the weeks go by, losing four of their last five matches at the time of writing.
AmaZulu are slowly finding their rhythm under Benni McCarthy but the results haven’t been forthcoming with Usuthu still winless outside Durban. Boring, I know, but my money is on another stalemate.
9/10 Bloemfontein Celtic | 23/10 | Tshakhuma TM 3/1 (17:00)
Bloemfontein Celtic have been going through a torrid time in the DStv Premiership with John Maduka’s football philosophy no longer setting the world alight the way it used to. Siwelele are winless in six league matches at the time of writing and face a Chippa United outfit in midweek.
Tshakhuma’s off-field issues have been well-documented this season, although there seems to be some light at the end of this very dark tunnel with the Limpopo-based club under new ownership. In terms of the form table, TTM have lost four consecutive games without scoring a single goal. Back Celtic to turn their fortunes around.
7/10 Golden Arrows | 5/2 | Maritzburg United 15/4 (17:00)
Golden Arrows suffered their first defeat of the season when they went down 4-2 against a rampant Cape Town City side. Mandla Ncikazi’s side will be hoping they can keep their impressive record in Claremont intact when they host Maritzburg United in the KZN derby.
The Team of Choice were beaten 1-0 by Orlando Pirates and lost 3-0 to TS Galaxy before that. Prior to those defeats, they also drew 0-0 with AmaZulu in a game they should have been beaten had it not been for Jethren Barr, who kept his side in the game. Arrows should win this tie, in fact, I’ll go as far as labeling them as one of the bankers of the weekend.
13/10 Black Leopards | 21/10 | TS Galaxy 21/10 (17:00)
Black Leopards’ five-game run at Thohoyandou comes to an end on Saturday afternoon as they gear up to face TS Galaxy. Lidoda Duvha, at the time of writing, have lost back-to-back matches without scoring, going down to Cape Town City and Chippa United.
TS Galaxy have been on the road all week after beating Maritzburg United 3-0 in KZN last weekend. In midweek, they travelled to Orlando Stadium and now play in Limpopo. This one looks like it could be another share of the spoils.
Sunday 31 January
9/20 Sundowns | 3/1 | Chippa United 6/1 (15:30)
Sundowns have been going through a difficult spell at the moment and this looks to be Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena’s biggest test at the helm. At the time of writing, Sundowns have not won in three matches before their tie in midweek, while their goals have also dried up in the attack. Chippa United also play in the week, but prior to that, the Chilli Boys come off the back of two impressive results where they drew at Swallows and then went on to win 3-0 away to Black Leopards. With all the quality Sundowns have at their disposal, they should beat Chippa – if they don’t, ring the alarm bells!
2/1 Baroka | 2/1 | Cape Town City 14/10 (15:30)
It’s always an entertaining affair when Cape Town City step out on the pitch. Last week, Jan Olde Riekerink’s men inflicted Golden Arrows’ first defeat of the season, beating the Durban-based side 4-2. At the time of writing, City are also the highest-scoring team in the DStv Premiership, banging in 25 goals in just 13 games. Baroka have lost three of their last four matches and failed to score in any of those defeats. My money is on Cape Town City.
TREBLE @ 13/2
Bloemfontein Celtic 9/10
Golden Arrows Win 7/10
Cape Town City Win 14/10
Written by Jesse Nagel