Our football pundit previews the PSL Week 21 action which kicks off on Friday 16 February 2018.
It’s that time of the season when PSL teams are fighting for dear life with the run-in coming full swing. The match of the weekend is the clash between Kaizer Chiefs and Cape Town City who both have a chance to contend for the title and ensure that the last couple of games for table-topping Mamelodi Sundowns don’t become dead rubbers.
Elsewhere, Platinum Stars, who are hoping to nick PSL safety, face a daunting task against previously embattled SuperSport United. We also have a KZN derby on the menu. This is how I think the gameweek will unfold…
Friday 16 February
Maritzburg United 11/10
The KZN derby is always very exciting and with both teams already in the top and hoping to stay there till the end of the season, we’re in for a cracker! Maritzburg United are sixth on the log with two wins and two draws in their last five matches. Andrea Fileccia did put his name on the scoresheet in the 3-1 win over Swallows FC in the Nedbank Cup and it shall be interesting to see if he will rise to the occasion and fill the void left by Evans Rusike.
AmaZulu needed penalties to knock Mthatha Bucks out of the Nedbank Cup last week after coming back twice to register a 2-2 draw after extra time. Usuthu have been impressive at home but their away record is dreadful as they have only won two of their 10 games in all competitions this season. Put your money on the home side.
Saturday 17 February
Chippa United 2/1
Baroka will be hoping to keep their top eight hopes alive as they currently lie ninth with the same amount of points as the two teams above them. Bakgaga have only won one of their last five matches. It looks like Gift Motupa’s goals are drying up as he has missed sitters over the last two matches.
After playing four consecutive draws in the league, Chippa United recorded a comfortable 2-0 victory over Phiva Young Stars to knock them out of the Nedbank Cup. That stretched their unbeaten run to six games. The Chilli Boys, alongside Golden Arrows, are the most draw laden teams with 11 matches involving each of these two sides ending in stalemates. Another draw is on the cards.
Golden Arrows 15/10
Bidvest Wits 19/10
Arrows are languishing in 12th place, only two points above the drop zone. The results haven’t gone their way as they have only won one of their last five matches. They got thrashed 3-0 by Kaizer Chiefs in the Nedbank Cup last 32 clash on Sunday.
After spending the better part of the season at the bottom of the table, Bidvest Wits have managed to go unbeaten in the last five matches to climb up to 14th. The Clever Boys have crashed out of the Nedbank Cup after losing a fourth consecutive match to Cape Town City and surviving the chop will be their main focus. Wits should win this one.
Kaizer Chiefs 9/10
Cape Town City 3/1
This is somewhat a top of the table clash as both sides are seven points adrift of top-placed Mamelodi Sundowns. Whoever loses this one must start getting used to the idea of throwing the towel in the title race. There’s nothing to choose between these sides as they are tied on 31 points and the both did superbly last week in the Nedbank Cup. Benni McCarthy continued his 100% record over Gavin Hunt when his Citizens beat Bidvest Wits 1-0 and Kaizer Chiefs put up a splendid performance, thrashing Golden Arrows 3-0. These teams have met on four occasions with the Cape Town outfit holding a superior record of two wins to Amakhosi’s one and the other match ending in a draw. Former Chiefs striker, Matthew Rusike, who capped his City debut with a goal, will face his former team for the first time since he left them for Europe.
Both teams have dangerous attackers and their new signings are doing very well. McCarthy seems content with 1-0 wins and his team hasn’t scored more than one goal since the 4-2 defeat to Maritzburg United 11 matches ago. Chiefs drop a lot of points through draws and I don’t see them outscoring the visitors. The match is likely to end in a stalemate.
Sunday 18 February
*Please note that the match between Bloemfontein Celtic and Polokwane City scheduled for this day hass been postponed due to the tragic passing of Mogau Tshehla.
Tuesday 20 February
Platinum Stars 37/20
SuperSport United 33/20
It’s all going south for bottom-placed Platinum Stars who head into this one off the back of a winless five-match run which includes four consecutive defeats. Coach Roger De Sa forms part of the new club ownership and he’s hoping to revive this once competitive team.
SuperSport United were also in dander of relegation a few weeks ago until they beat Bloemfontein Celtic 4-2 to move three points clear of the relegation zone. Judging from Eric Tinkler’s remarks and the team he put out for the Nedbank Cup clash you can tell that he’s prioritising league safety. SuperSport should triumph here.
Wednesday 21 February
Mamelodi Sundowns 7/20
Free State Stars 37/10
Sundowns, who are riding the crest of the PSL wave, will be looking to increase the gap between them and the chasing pack as they are currently five points clear of second-placed Orlando Pirates with a game in hand. Percy Tau was once again their hero last week as his solitary goal earned them a hard-fought victory over Cape Town All Stars in the Nedbank Cup.
Free State Stars are having a great season as they currently lie third with nine wins and six draws in their 20 matches this season. They have won three of their last five matches and a victory over the table-toppers would cut the points gap to three. I think Sundowns will be too strong and they will emerge victorious.