The third and final quarter of the current GladAfrica Championship campaign is upon us and it’s do or die for all teams as some are fighting to gain promotion, while others are looking to survive relegation.
Photo Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
Saturday 15 February
JDR Stars 4/10
Royal Eagles 6/1
Fifth-placed JDR Stars were not involved in any Nedbank Cup action this past weekend which has helped them focus on their pursuit. They’re four points adrift of third-placed Swallows and a victory here would see them mount some pressure on them.
On the other hand, bottom-placed Eagles conceded very late in their Nedbank Cup clash against Kaizer Chiefs to bow out early in the competition. Their target is to turn the corner if they are to stand any chance of climbing out of the relegation zone soon. I think the hosts will win this one.
Mbombela United 6/1
Swallows are one of the teams that come into this game well-rested and they face a Mbombela side which shocked Cape Town City in the Nedbank Cup, beating them 1-0 to advance to the Round of 16. The Dube Birds want to consolidate their position in the top three while the visitors would kill to climb out of the relegation zone. This is not an easy one to call but I’ll back Swallows due to their consistency in recent weeks.
Steenberg United 2/1
Tshakhuma head into this one off the back of a two-match losing streak while fourth-placed Steenberg who are also winless in their last two games could reclaim third spot on the table if they emerge victorious here. The Capetonians have been solid this season but playing in Limpopo heat is a tough task for any team, especially if you’re coming from Western Cape conditions. My money is on the home team.
TS Sporting 18/10
Free State Stars 16/10
Oscarine Masuluke saved three penalties and scored the last one in the shootout as TS Sporting knocked Ajax Cape Town out of the Nedbank Cup last week, with Mbulelo Wagaba being chosen as the Man of the Match for his terrific display throughout the 120 minutes.
Meanwhile, Free State Stars were not involved in any cup action this weekend and have recently drawn three consecutive games, taking their unbeaten run to eight matches. It’s a clash of two good teams and I think they will cancel each other out.
Cape Umoya United 9/2
Uthongathi suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Highlands Park in a Nedbank Cup match played under rainy weather conditions this past weekend. The KZN outfit must look at this as a blessing in disguise as they can now focus on fighting for PSL promotion.
Ndiviwe Mdabuka will play no part in Cape Umoya United’s plans to plot the hosts’ downfall as he got sent off the last time out and it will be hard for the visitors to cope without their experienced midfield anchor. Back the Cane Cutters to triumph at home.
Sunday 16 February
University of Pretoria 7/10
TS Galaxy 15/4
University of Pretoria have been there and there about in the race for PSL promotion and they’re currently four points behind third-placed Swallows. AmaTuks face a TS Galaxy side who have just parted ways with coach Dan Malesela after crashing out of the Nedbank Cup. It remains to be seen what coach Muisi Ajao has in store for the Rockets. The Nedbank Cup holders are still adapting to new tactics hence I’ll back AmaTuks.
Richards Bay 1/1
Jomo Cosmos 24/10
Richards Bay have surprisingly won consecutive games against JDR Stars and Tshakhuma who are much higher than them on the table. They face a Cosmos side who are in desperate need of points as they are just one spot above the relegation zone.
Ezenkosi surprisingly beat Cape Umoya United 1-0 on their own turf in their last league game before losing 1-0 to Hungry Lions in the Nedbank Cup. The cup result might be deceiving as I expected Jomo Sono’s men to welcome an exit at this critical stage. A share of the spoils in on the cards.
Monday 17 February
Ajax Cape Town 6/10
Real Kings 9/2
Top-placed Ajax Cape Town know that there’s no margin for error as Uthongathi, in second position, are breathing down their necks. The Urban Warriors host a Real Kings team with a new coach as they have now appointed Mike Lukhubeni to replace Joel Masutha who had endured a four-match winless run with the club. The log leaders are tipped to emerge the victors.
QUAD @ 4/1
JDR Stars Win 4/10
Uthongathi Win 6/10
Swallows Win 4/10