We are two rounds away from the Christmas break and Kaizer Chiefs look to be in control at the top of the standings.
Amakhosi had a bit of a break as they missed out in action last weekend due to their opponents, Bidvest Wits, being involved in the CAF Confederations Cup. Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates also missed out as Masandawana played their first group stage game of this season’s CAF Champions League. Chiefs host Bloemfontein Celtic at the Moses Mabhida Stadium with a win seeing the Glamour Boys move 13 points clear of SuperSport United, who are currently second.
Photo Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
Friday 6 December
SuperSport United 1/1
Highlands Park 28/10
We kick-start round 14 with the repeat of this season’s MTN8 final. SuperSport United were very disappointing in their last game when they played to a 1-1 draw at home to Stellenbosch. The MTN8 champions have been doing their business quietly and are now second on the standings. Kaitano Tembo’s men are unbeaten in their last seven league encounters, winning three and drawing four.
Highlands Park will be looking to revenge their cup final defeat and move into the top four. Owen Da Gama’s boys come into this match fresh from three consecutive draws and failure to win this match will make it impossible for them to catch up on the top teams whilst putting their top eight spot in jeopardy. This match is written draw all over it.
Saturday 7 December
Black Leopards 7/4
Black Leopards were impressive in their last encounter coming from a goal down to beat an in-form Golden Arrows side. This week, they host another Durban-based team with the aim of making it back-to-back wins over KZN opposition. AmaZulu sacked their coach Cavin Johnson because of poor results and the club looked better when Jozef Vukusic started, winning three games on the bounce. However, that decent run of form was short-lived as the club suffered back-to-back defeats against Chippa United and Mamelodi Sundowns before drawing with Maritzburg United at home last Sunday. Take Black Leopards to come out on top in this one.
Orlando Pirates 17/20
It’s exactly a year since these sides battled it out in the Telkom Knockout final where Baroka denied the Buccaneers their first trophy in four seasons. This time, the fight is for three points and Orlando Pirates will be desperate to close the gap. The Ghost were everyone’s favourites to win the league but their inconsistencies see them 15 points behind the table-toppers.
Failure to win this encounter makes it mission impossible for the men in black who will be missing the league’s best player, Thembinkosi Lorch, after been red-carded in their win against Polokwane City. Pirates have been dreadful on their travels winning just once and losing four in the six matches played on the road. Orlando Pirates can’t be trusted at the moment and missing Lorch will make things harder. Go bold here and back these sides to cancel each other out at 43/20.
Cape Town City 23/20
Chippa United 29/10
This is a season Cape Town City will want to forget unless new coach Jan Olde Riekerink performs a miracle. Things are currently bad for the Cape Town-based team with players being suspended by the DC and the results are just not coming. The Citizens have scored once in their last three matches and that’s a big concern for a team that’s known for scoring goals. Norman Mapeza has turned things around at Chippa United, collecting seven points in their last three matches.
A win here will see his side move out of the relegation zone for the first time this season. Since dropping veteran goalkeeper, Patrick Tignyemb, the club has gone on to keep three clean sheets in a row. Chippa United have been solid at the back and Cape Town City haven’t scored much lately so I’ll stick my neck out here and take a draw.
Kaizer Chiefs 11/10
Bloemfontein Celtic 31/10
All eyes will be at the Moses Mabhida Stadium where runaway leaders, Kaizer Chiefs, hosts Bloemfontein Celtic. If Amakhosi can win 10 of their remaining 18 matches they will most likely be crowned champions come May. At the moment, Chiefs look very hard to stop. The Soweto giants are on a seven-match winning streak and kept six clean sheets in the process which saw their goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi being rewarded with the Player of the Month award.
After all their problems, Celtic have had the results coming and the boys continue giving it their all on the pitch. The visitors are fifth on the standings and a win here will see them leapfrog Arrows to fourth. With this game being played in Durban, it gives Chiefs a good chance to end their winless run against Celtic. Back Amakhosi to snatch this one.
Sunday 8 December
Polokwane City 17/10
Maritzburg United 39/20
Polokwane City started like a house on fire this season and were favourites to win the Q1 Innovation, but the wheels came off for the Limpopo-based team. Coach Zlatko Krmpotic was sacked after five consecutive defeats and Bernard Molekwa was in charge of Rise and Shine in their last two defeats to Orlando Pirates and Celtic.
Maritzburg United have one eye on the cup final and that has seen the Team of Choice dropping five points in their last two league games losing to SuperSport and drawing with AmaZulu. This is the last game before the final, and to be honest, I doubt the players will go all out in this one as they will be saving themselves for the big one against Mamelodi Sundowns at Moses Mabhida on the 14th. Get on Polokwane City on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 7/20.
DOUBLE @ 9/2
Black Leopards Win 7/4
Kaizer Chiefs 11/10