Our football expert previews the NFD Week Three action which kicks off on Saturday 1 September 2018.
This week’s NFD action features three potentially enthralling derby clashes. In KZN, early strugglers, Royal Eagles, will visit Roger Sikhakhane’s former team in Richards Bay, Mpumalanga will witness Mbombela United go head to head with Witbank Spurs, while great sides from the Mother City, Ajax Cape Town and Stellenbosch do battle.
Saturday 1 September
Ajax Cape Town 6/10
This match comes off the back of a cagey Cape Town derby between Ajax and Cape Umoya United which ended in a goalless draw on Tuesday, making it back to back derbies for the Urban Warriors. Muhsin Ertugral’s men got their NFD campaign off to a winning start when they beat Jomo Cosmos 2-1, two weeks ago.
Stellenbosch have played their two opening matches in KZN, beating Royal Eagles 1-0 and losing 2-1 to Richards Bay. Their first appearance in Cape Town this season is unfortunately against a team with players of Absa Premiership quality and I think they will suffer their second defeat of the campaign.
Real Kings 33/20
University of Pretoria 33/20
Former Bidvest Wits attacker Papy Fathy has made his presence felt at Real Kings by scoring the consolation goal in their 2-1 defeat at Tshakhuma. That was their second defeat in as many games and they will be eager to turn the corner at home.
The visitors have drawn both their opening fixtures 1-1. Last week, they had to come back from an unfortunate 1-0 scoreline to salvage a point when Mogau Khwinana scored the equaliser. Their goalkeeper had inadvertently floated a corner into his own net. I can’t separate these two teams so I’m predicting a draw.
Tshakhuma TM 11/10
TS Galaxy 23/10
Sello Chokoe’s Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila have collected four points in two matches and last week they beat Royal Eagles 2-1 with former AmaZulu captain Carlington Nyadombo getting his name on the scoresheet. They will be looking to use home ground advantage to overpower a side which has drawn both their matches so far in TS Galaxy. Everything points to a stronger Tshakhuma side winning at home.
There’s nothing to choose between these two sides heading into the Mpumalanga derby as they’ve both recorded a 1-1 draw and a 1-0 victory in their respective opening fixtures. Coach Milton Dlamini’s Mbombela United edged Ubuntu Cape Town 1-0 last week with the game’s solitary goal coming from Xolani Nkala who converted from the spot.
Witbank Spurs followed their opening round 1-0 win over Real Kings with a 1-1 draw against newly-promoted Maccabi. I think betting on a draw is the safest option here.
Cape Umoya United 28/10
Newly-promoted Maccabi sit second on the log after a 3-1 win over TS Sporting and a 1-1 draw against Witbank Spurs. They’ve bolstered their already experienced side by acquiring the services of Lebohang “Cheeseboy” Mokoena.
Cape Umoya United will play this one after a boring iKapa derby which ended in a goalless draw against Ajax Cape Town which on Tuesday. Roger De Sa’s team has drawn both their opening two matches. They will be counting on the experience of players like Manti Mekoa, Nathan Paulse and Shane Poggenpoel to see them through. I’m backing Maccabi due to home ground advantage.
Sunday 2 September
Jomo Cosmos 11/10
TS Sporting 23/10
Jomo Cosmos played out to a 2-2 draw against TS Galaxy last week with loanee, Ayanda Nkosi, scoring the opener. The Orlando Pirates striker seems to be forging fantastic partnership understanding with Matsilele Sono Jr from whose corner he headed in the goal.
After receiving a 3-1 baptism of fire from Maccabi, TS Sporting registered their first win of the campaign when they beat Royal Eagles 1-0 at home. My money is on an Ezenkosi win.
Richards Bay 9/10
Royal Eagles 28/10
What makes this KZN derby even more interesting is the fact that Roger Sikhakhane coached Richards Bay at the start of last season and he is now in charge of Royal Eagles. Natal Rich Boyz were part of my winning treble last week and they did beat Stellenbosch 1-0 courtesy of a Mpho Erasmus strike. Royal Eagles have lost both their opening matches by a 1-0 scoreline. My money is on the Natal Rich Boyz.
Ubuntu Cape Town 23/10
This is not an easy one to call but what makes my mind up for me is the fact that Uthongathi are playing at home and they’ve collected a point in each of their first two games while Ubuntu Cape Town who survived relegation by a whisker last season have lost both their opening fixtures. The momentum is slightly in favour of the hosts and I’m predicting a win for them.
*LAST WEEK’S TREBLE WON @10/1
TS Sporting Win 31/20
Richards Bay Win 23/20
Mbombela Win 19/20
THIS WEEK’S QUAD @ 13/1
Ajax Cape Town 6/10