|Jomo Sono – Image copyright (Steve Haag Sports)|
GladAfrica Championship action has three derbies on the menu this weekend with Steenberg hosting Cape Umoya United, Uthongathi welcoming Real Kings and Mbombela United visiting TS Galaxy.
Elsewhere, promotion-chasing Ajax Cape Town visit bottom-placed Royal Eagles Let me give you my betting tips…
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
Friday 24 January
Steenberg United 13/20
Cape Umoya United 4/1
Steenberg have done well since gaining promotion to the second tier as they lie third on the table and are unbeaten in their last 12 league games with seven wins and five draws.
The visitors in the shape of Cape Umoya United snapped a three-match losing streak this past weekend when they thumped bottom-placed Royal Eagles 4-1. I don’t think walloping the strugglers means the Capetonians can hold their own against a promotion-chasing team, hence I’m predicting a derby win for the hosts.
Saturday 25 January
Free State Stars 6/1
Swallows are currently the form team of the division with five consecutive wins heading into this clash. They are now two points behind third-placed Steenberg and a win could see them finish the gameweek in the PSL promotional playoff spot.
They face a Free State Stars side who are unbeaten in the last six games with four wins and two draws which gives this clash a do or die label. It’s a tricky one to call, but I’ll back the Dube Birds due to home ground advantage.
TS Sporting 16/10
University of Pretoria 16/10
TS Sporting shocked the whole country when they moved out of the relegation zone, courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Ajax Cape Town, who were on top of the log at the time, away from home.
This week they return to KwaBhokweni Stadium in coach Mondli Mathaba’s second match in charge to face a University of Pretoria side who are winless in their last five games. The hosts are in high spirits after signing the likes of Sifiso Myeni, with Patrick Phungwayo training with the team and with a new coach at the helm, I foresee them edging this one at home.
Real Kings 4/1
Uthongathi returned to the top of the log when they beat Richards Bay 1-0 in a tightly-contested KZN derby at Umhlathuze Sports Complex, but they might be second by the time this game takes place with Ajax playing Real Kings in midweek.
Real Kings who lost 2-1 at home to Steenberg have a midweek game against Ajax and it remains to be seen how close to the top three they are by the time this game kicks off. I’m backing Uthongathi to claim a derby victory at home.
Sunday 26 January
Jomo Cosmos 2/1
JDR Stars 13/10
Jomo Cosmos are in the relegation zone and judging by the way they have been playing, I don’t see them steering their way to safety anytime soon as they have managed to win only three of their 18 games so far this season.
JDR Stars started the season like a house on fire, but they have been indifferent of late as they have slid down to sixth on the log. They returned to winning ways last week when they beat TS Galaxy 2-1. I can’t separate these two sides hence I’m backing a share of the spoils.
Richards Bay 2/1
Richards Bay who have won one of their last five games face a tough assignment against Tshakhuma who have a chance to sneak into the top three with a win here. The visitors are unbeaten in the last four games and they’re a much stronger side heading into this clash. Back the Limpopo outfit to be triumphant.
Royal Eagles 6/1
Ajax Cape Town 9/20
Bottom-placed Royal Eagles have sacked coach Moma Medic after a poor string of results and Phuthi Mogale, who was the assistant, looks set to take over till the end of the season.
Ajax Cape Town shockingly lost to TS Sporting last week and they will be looking to regain their place at the summit of the standings. In fact, they might be back on top by the time this fixture happens as they’re playing their game in hand against Real Kings in midweek. Back the Urban Warriors to wipe the floor with the strugglers.
TS Galaxy 11/10
Mbombela United 5/2
The two sides met just a week ago in an away clash for the TS Galaxy where they walked away with a valuable point following a 0-0 stalemate. After that, the Nedbank Cup champions lost to promotion-chasing JDR Stars.
Mbombela are just one spot above the relegation zone with nine defeats so far this season which is the most by any team in the division. I foresee Galaxy winning the Mpumalanga derby.
QUAD @ 13/2
Swallows Win 9/20
Uthongathi Win 7/10
Ajax Win 9/20
TS Galaxy Win 11/10