Mamelodi Sundowns have successfully qualified for the group stage of the inaugural CAF Women’s Champions League, while Banyana Banyana’s stars return to their respective clubs after flying the flag proudly in Nigeria.
National team preparations will begin again soon for South Africa’s participation at the COSAFA Cup scheduled to take place in Nelson Mandela Bay (Gqeberha) from 28 September to 9 October 2021.
The 20-woman squad has been announced, but it’s never to late to add your name to the list by outshining your peers in league action. South Africa have also named the squad for Basetsana’s (Under-20’s) World Cup Qualifiers preparation that will take place in Mozambique.
The pick of the HSL action sees TUT Ladies and JVW FC battle it out, when second meets third on the current log standings, while Thunderbirds play host to the benchmark, Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies.
Saturday 24 September
Thunderbirds Ladies 9/2 | Draw 28/10 | Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies 5/10 (15:00)
Thunderbirds Ladies welcome the Brazilians to the Sisa Dukashe Stadium after returning to winning ways, beating Bloemfontein Celtic 2-1 last Saturday. The Birds will face an uphill task trying to upset the much-fancied visitors, but have their sights set on claiming their fourth victory from five league games.
Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies extended their lead at the top of the table last time out, stretching the gap between themselves and second-placed TUT Ladies to four points, while playing four fewer matches.
Masandawana are expected to replicate the 4-0 scoreline earlier this season in Pretoria when these teams last met, with the defending champions displaying their dominance. If I had to predict the correct score, I’ll have a punt on 2-0 Sundowns.
TUT Ladies 13/10 | Draw 2/1 | JVW FC 19/10 (15:00)
TUT Ladies can take a lot of positives from last week’s 4-2 defeat to Sundowns who are among the leading African clubs in women’s football. Salome Kekana and Njabulo Sangweni found the net for coach Simphiwe Dludlu’s team, who now return home to the TUT Stadium licking their wounds.
JVW FC had their last two league games postponed with a handful of players representing South Africa in Nigeria. One of the nation’s rising stars, Gabriela Salgado, secured maximum points for coach Ciara Picco’s team with her solitary goal proving the difference against Golden Ladies in their last league outing.
The Blue Diamonds have their sights set on continuing their rich vein of form by winning their sixth straight game, while Salgado will be aiming to earn a second Player of the Match award against TUT Ladies this season. The reverse tie saw JVW win 2-0 at the Tsakane Stadium, this time around I’m expecting the visitors to edge out a 1-0 win.
UWC Ladies 1/1 | Draw 21/10 | First Touch FC 5/2 (15:00)
UWC Ladies will be eyeing the game between TUT Ladies and JVW FC with keen interest. Both teams could lose ground in a stalemate, while there could also be a winner, meaning the Bushies could leapfrog either team to move up into third or second position on table.
Coach Thinasonke Mbuli’s team tasted their first defeat on home soil in their last game in Cape Town, but did bounce back emphatically in East London, beating Thunderbirds 3-0.
Along with JVW FC, UWC Ladies have had to sit out the last two weeks of Hollywoodbets Super League action due to players on national team duty. Forward Sibulele Holweni scored for Banyana in their 3-0 win over Ghana last weekend and will join the squad with added confidence. In Cape Town, my money is always on UWC Ladies to come out trumps.
Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies 19/20 | Draw 22/10 Richmond United 5/2 (15:00)
Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies have been inconsistent since the resumption of the league in late August. Phunya Sele Sele have played five games and won both home matches at Siwelele Park, but have suffered defeats in all three ties on their travels.
The hosts are priced up as the favourites, despite coming off a 2-1 loss to Thunderbirds Ladies in East London. This also due to Richmond United’s slump in form.
The visitors have only tallied eight points from their last six league encounters, which is a drop off from their strong start to the season. When these opponents clashed at De Aar’s Merino Stadium, four months ago, Bloemfontein Celtic ran out 3-2 winners.
I’m putting faith in Celtic’s record at home and adding them confidently to my bet slip.
Coal City Wizards 7/10 | Draw 23/10 | Durban Ladies 15/4 (15:00)
Coal City Wizards suffered their second defeat in three games, losing 2-1 away to Golden Ladies at the Montshioa Stadium in Mafikeng. Ma’Wizards will be hoping to repeat the performances during their last two games on home soil, beating both Ma-Indies Ladies and Tsunami Queens by a 3-0 scoreline.
The signs are worrying for Durban Ladies once again. The visitors have failed to score in their last four games, while being narrowly edged 1-0 in three of their most recent clashes against TUT Ladies, Thunderbirds and First Touch FC.
I’ll have to put my loyalty to my hometown aside and back Coal City Wizards to continue excelling on their home patch.
Tsunami Queens 7/2 | Draw 23/10 | Ma-Indies Ladies 7/10 (15:00)
Tsunami Queens and Ma-Indies Ladies will round off Saturday’s action in Harrismith as the hosts aim to lift themselves off the foot of the table. Ma-Indies Ladies, on the other hand, will make a 1,500km round trip and would desperately not want to leave empty-handed.
Seeing as the visitors also find themselves on the ropes, unable to win any of their previous eight league games, however, the Limpopo-based outfit did manage to steal a point from last weekend’s 1-1 stalemate against UJ Ladies from the penalty spot just seconds before the full-time whistle.
Tsunami Queens were thumped 5-1 by Ma-Indies Ladies earlier this season, the margin might be tighter this time around but I’m expecting the same outcome.
Sunday 25 September
UJ Ladies 9/10 | Draw 22/10 | Golden Ladies 28/10 (15:00)
UJ Ladies return home to their Soweto Campus to play host to a resurgent Golden Ladies team. The Orange Army were cruelly outdone in added extra-time, effectively losing two valuable points in the space of a few seconds, drawing 1-1 with Ma-Indies Ladies.
Golden Ladies have won back-to-back matches for only the second time this season, getting the better of both First Touch FC (3-1) & Coal City Wizards (2-1). Whatever coach Fani Motaung’s troops are working on, is definitely paying dividends.
I haven’t predicted any draws this week yet, however, with Golden Ladies’ slim 1-0 victory in the return leg, I’m convinced Sunday’s action will end with these opponents sharing the spoils in a cagey and hard-fought contest.
MULTIPLE @ 155/1
Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies Win 5/10
JVW FC Win 19/10
UWC Ladies Win 1/1
Bloem Celtic Ladies Win 19/20
Coal City Wizards Win 7/10
Ma-Indies Ladies Win 7/10
UJ Ladies vs Golden Ladies Draw 22/10