Our football analyst previews the NFD Week 22 action which kicks off on Friday 1 March 2019.
Stellenbosch look like champions in waiting after opening up an eight-point gap at the summit of the NFD standings. This week they host relegation-threatened Witbank Spurs at Idas Valley. Will this be a one-sided encounter?
Meanwhile, Royal Eagles and Ajax will be looking to return to winning ways and climb back into the top three as they face Real Kings and TS Galaxy respectively. Here’s our full NFD preview:
Friday 1 March
Witbank Spurs 7/1
Stellenbosch have only suffered three defeats all season and they sit atop the NFD standings, eight points clear of second-placed Mbombela United. Steve Barker’s men beat TS Sporting 2-0 last week to register their 13th win in 21 games.
Witbank Spurs are one spot above the relegation zone and failure to collect maximum points could drag them into a dangerous position. Shakes Mashaba’s boys have won two, drawn two and lost one of their last five league games. Stellies are too strong for everyone, back them to win at Idas Valley.
Ubuntu Cape Town 14/10
Ubuntu Cape Town have jointly with Witbank Spurs lost the most games in the league so far this season with 11 defeats to their name. They are currently in the relegation zone and it’s not looking good for them.
Maccabi are winless in five league games which has seen them slide down to 11th on the log. Former Chippa United coach, Joel Masutha is really finding the going tough in the second tire of South African football. I foresee a dull stalemate here.
Saturday 2 March
Cape Umoya United 13/10
Jomo Cosmos 2/1
This could be a defining period for both teams as they’re tied on 23 points. The winner would all of a sudden be four points off the magical 30-point mark which puts you in a good position to survive relegation. Dominic Isaac’s Cape Umoya United have collected six out of a possible 15 points in the last five games while Ezenkosi have collected only three over the same period. Jomo Sono’s team has lost four of those encounters. I’m leaning towards a Cape Umoya win.
TS Sporting 14/10
TS Sporting understandably lost 2-0 at table-topping Stellenbosch and they seek redemption against an Uthongathi side that is unbeaten in four games with two draws and two wins. They showed mental strength in the KZN derby against Royal Eagles last week when they came back from a goal down to win 2-1. The momentum is with the visitors and I’m backing them.
Sunday 3 March
Ajax Cape Town 1/1
TS Galaxy 5/2
Ajax shockingly lost 3-0 to University of Pretoria last week which saw them drop to fourth on the log. Returning to the top three as soon as possible will be in their minds when they host Dan “Dance” Malesela’s TS Galaxy who head into this one off the back of two consecutive wins. Orlando Pirates loanee, Zakes Lepasa’s solitary goal saw them edge Jomo Cosmos 1-0 on their own turf. This smells like a draw.
Richards Bay 13/10
Mbombela United 2/1
Richards Bay have had a good recent record as they are unbeaten in the last five league games with two draws and three wins. On the other hand, Kingston Nkhatha opened his scoring account for Mbombela United in their 1-0 victory over struggling Ubuntu Cape Town which propelled them to second place on the table. This is a crucial game and my reason to tip Richards Bay is home ground advantage.
Royal Eagles 5/10
Real Kings 11/2
This is a KZN derby between two teams with contrasting fortunes. The hosts are currently placed third and they will be looking to return to winning ways and cement their place with the likes of Ajax Cape Town, Uthongathi and Richards Bay breathing down their necks.
Meanwhile, Real Kings are rooted to the foot of the NFD after going six games without a win. The KZN side knows that a victory is essential to stand any chance of surviving relegation. My money is on the third-placed team.
University of Pretoria 2/1
It shall be interesting to see how Tshakhuma who are winless in five league games cope with a highly-motivated University of Pretoria team that has just beaten Ajax Cape Town 3-0. That was AmaTuks’ third win in five games! The momentum is with the visitors and I’m backing them.
TREBLE @ 5/1
Stellenbosch Win 7/20
Royal Eagles Win 5/10
University of Pretoria Win 2/1
Written by @EggsBenedictZA