Our football pundit previews the NFD week 25 action which kicks off on Saturday 31 March 2018.
I know that I’m starting to sound like a broken record but I’ll say this once again, it’s easy to make money on Highlands Park because the other NFD teams are no match for them in the current campaign. The table toppers visit Tshakhuma and they should once again triumph and possibly seal PSL promotion with a couple of matches to spare. Elsewhere, Ubuntu Cape Town who are having a decent run in the Nedbank Cup, have plummeted to the relegation zone. Let me predict the results of the upcoming matches.
Saturday 31 March
Richards Bay 14/10
Jomo Cosmos 39/20
Richards Bay shocked promotion-chasing TTM FC last time out, beating them 1-0 to move away from the relegation zone. This time, the New Rich Boyz will have home ground advantage when they seek vengeance against a team that beat them 1-0 in the first round.
Jomo Cosmos beat Ubuntu Cape Town, who were on a three-match winning streak, 3-1 and they now lie fourth. Ezenkosi will be hoping to end the season on a high and secure a promotional play-off spot. Back Cosmos to win here.
Highlands Park 17/20
Tshakhuma are in good place to challenge for a PSL promotion spot as they lie fifth and only two points adrift of third-placed Real Kings and second-place Black Leopards. However, TTM suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at home to Richards Bay in their most recent match.
Highlands Park are on a 19-match unbeaten run in the league and they have scored a whopping 19 goals over the last five matches. The last time they took to the field, they smashed Mbombela United 7-1. If they win this one, they could possibly become the NFD champions with five matches to spare. This should be another easy win for the Lions of the North.
Super Eagles 21/10
Uthongathi maximised their chances of surviving relegation when they beat Mthatha Bucks 2-1 away from home. The Cane Cutters will head into this one knowing that beating a team that’s level on points with them can be worth “six points”.
On the flip side, it was off to a winning start for a former Mthatha Bucks coach Ian Palmer as a solitary strike by Thapelo Selepe saw his Super Eagles get one over Roger Sikhakhane’s Royal Eagles. Super Eagles are tied on 26 points with their opponents and this could be a tricky encounter away from home. I’m backing Uthongathi to collect maximum points.
Witbank Spurs 7/10
Mthatha Bucks 38/10
Witbank Spurs displayed a great deal of fighting spirit when they came back from a goal down to salvage a 1-1 draw against University of Pretoria. They will fancy their chances of collecting maximum points when they come up against the side that’s rooted to the foot of the table. Mthatha Bucks have only won four of their 24 league games so far this season and relegation is imminent. Come on, get on Spurs to win!
Sunday 1 April
Black Leopards 7/10
Black Leopards are one of the form teams at the moment as they are unbeaten in their last six league matches. That has seen them amazingly climb from the relegation zone into second on the log. They will be hoping to cement their place in the play-off spots and steer clear of the chasing pack.
Stellenbosch are winless in their last four league games which include three straight defeats and this game away from home against a team that’s on the up should prove too difficult for them. Leopards are tipped to win this one easily.
Mbombela United 17/10
Cape Town All Stars 16/10
Mbombela United were thrashed 7-1 by Highlands Park in their most recent outing and that was their third defeat in the last five matches. Mbombela are ninth on the log and promotion hopes are rapidly fading away.
Cape Town All Stars are gunning for their first win over Mbombela and they head into this game on the back of a 2-0 victory over Stellenbosch where debutant Tshepo Mashigo found the back of the net. Igugu Lekapa are slight favorites and I think they should manage a narrow victory away from home.
Royal Eagles 29/20
University of Pretoria 19/10
Roger Sikhakhane suffered his first defeat as a Royal Eagles coach when they went down 1-0 to relegation-threatened Super Eagles. They will be hoping to return to winning ways when they face another team that’s in demise.
University of Pretoria are winless over the last four matches and contending for promotion seems like something they can start kissing goodbye until next season. They recently threw a way a 1-0 half-time lead to draw 1-1 with Witbank Spurs. Get on the hosts to triumph.
TREBLE @ 12/1
Jomo Cosmos Win 39/20
Highlands Park Win 17/20
Uthongathi Win 29/20