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NFD: Week 26 Preview

Week 26 Preview

Our football analyst previews the NFD Week 26 action which kicks off on Saturday 6 April 2019.

Once again, only one team put me out of my treble last week as Uthongathi relinquished an early lead to play to a 1-1 draw against Maccabi with Collins Mbesuma equalising in the 90th minute. Stellenbosch and Tshakhuma, who were my other picks, didn’t disappoint as they picked up victories in their respective games.

Stellies’ victory gave them some breathing space at the summit of the standings as the likes of Royal Eagles, Ajax Cape Town and Mbombela, who form part of the chasing pack all dropped points. Here’s how I think this weekend’s action will pan out.

Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore

Saturday 6 April

Ajax Cape Town 4/10 
Draw 28/10 
Witbank Spurs 7/1 
Ajax Cape Town, who remain third on the log, were held to a goalless draw at relegation-threatened Real Kings. The Urban Warriors are unbeaten in their last four games with two wins and two draws. When they host bottom-placed Spurs they will be hoping to avoid a third consecutive draw.

Witbank Spurs are the whipping boys and they head into this encounter off the back of three consecutive defeats. They are winless in their last eight league games and relegation looms large! I’m tipping Ajax to win and I’m including them in all my multiples.

Maccabi 18/10 
Draw 2/1 
Royal Eagles 14/10 
Maccabi needed a 90th-minute equaliser from Collins Mbesuma to salvage a 1-1 draw against Uthongathi at Princess Magogo Stadium. This time they host an even stronger KZN side which sits second on the log in Royal Eagles.

Eagles are unbeaten in their last four games and they should be too strong for a struggling Maccabi side that has registered only one victory under Joel Masutha’s tutelage. My money is on the visitors.

Mbombela United 1/1 
Draw 22/10 
Uthongathi 24/10 
The difference between these two sides is four points in Mbombela’s favour and the hosts know that dropping points at this critical stage of the season could see them losing ground on the front runners. Tingwenyama sit in fourth position with Uthongathi occupying seventh place. The Cane Cutters were held to a 1-1 draw by Maccabi last week. I foresee a Tingwenyama win.

Tshakhuma TM 13/20 
Draw 22/10 
Ubuntu Cape Town 9/2 
Tshakhuma formed part of my treble last week and they managed to beat struggling Witbank Spurs straight after a top-placed Stellenbosch. This means in the last two rounds they’ve beaten the two teams on either end of the table.

Ubuntu Cape Town are one spot above the relegation zone and they head into this particular clash off the back of three games without a single victory as they have registered one defeat and two draws in that period. Tshakhuma are also forming part of my treble this week, why not back them.

Sunday 7 April 

Jomo Cosmos 7/2 
Draw 22/10 
Stellenbosch 15/20 
Jomo Cosmos find themselves in an unfamiliar 13th spot at this stage of the season after registering only seven wins in 25 games. Ezenkosi have won only one of their last five games which shows how poor they’ve been in the current campaign.

Stellenbosch returned to winning ways last week to open up a five-point gap on second-placed Royal Eagles. Stellies look on course to win this year’s league title and they should manage another victory here. Last week’s 5-0 clobbering of University of Pretoria gives me confidence in backing Stellies.

University of Pretoria 16/10 
Draw 2/1 
TS Galaxy 16/10 
As expected, AmaTuks got hammered at table-topping Stellenbosch which has seen them drop to 11th on the table. They face a highly-motivated TS Galaxy side which has reached the Nedbank Cup semi-finals and managed to hold promotion-chasing Mbombela United to a goalless draw. This will be a tricky one to call but I’ll back the visitors due to their superior league position and recent form. 

Richards Bay 7/10 
Draw 22/10 
Real Kings 4/1 
This will be a tightly-contested KZN derby with Richards Bay looking to break into PSL promotional play-off positions while Real Kings hope to get a much-need victory to climb out of the relegation zone. Both teams drew their respective encounters last week and this should be another share of the spoils.

Cape Umoya United 27/20 
Draw 22/10 
TS Sporting 17/10 
This will be a tight clash between ninth and 10th. Cape Umoya have managed to stay unbeaten in their last five league games, despite getting knocked out of the Nedbank Cup by fellow NFD compatriots, TS Galaxy. TS Sporting have been blowing hot and cold this season with eight wins, eight draws and nine defeats. I’ll take my chance with the home team.

TREBLE @ 3/1
Ajax Cape Town Win 4/10
Tshakhuma Win 13/20
Stellenbosch Win 15/20 

Written by @EggsBenedictZA

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