Our local football scribe previews round 19 of the 2016/17 PSL season.
We enter round 19 of the PSL with Bidvest Wits on top of the standings. Kaizer Chiefs, SuperSport United, Cape Town City and Mamelodi Sundowns are on their tails and will look to push the Clever Boys all the way.
The New Boys on the block – Baroka and Highlands Park – occupy the relegation and play-off places on the log and desperately need to claw their way out from the root of the table. Both teams have stern opposition to contend with this weekend, with Highlands Park playing host to SuperSport and Baroka taking on Cape Town City. That’s just a taste of what’s to come, so stay tuned and find out what’s good on the betting front this weekend!
Friday 24 February
Chippa United 12/10 | Draw 22/10 | Golden Arrows 23/10
We kick-start week 19 on Friday night at Sisa Dukashe Stadium with Chippa United taking on Golden Arrows. The hosts have lacked consistency in recent weeks but they did earn a well-served 1-1 draw against defending champions Sundowns in their last home game.
Golden Arrows have been dismal with three losses from their last four matches. Abafana Bes’thende were disappointing last time out, going down 1-0 on home soil against Free State Stars. They showed no urgency, lacked creativity and never looked like scoring. It won’t be cut and dry, but with home advantage, Chippa United are tipped to claim maximum points.
Saturday 25 February
Bloemfontein Celtic 11/10 | Draw 22/10 | Platinum Stars 24/10
Following back-to-back defeats, Bloem Celtic returned to winning ways last time out with a comprehensive 2-0 home win over Chippa United. Only their second victory on their ground this campaign.
Platinum Stars are without a win in their last five matches. Dikwena fell to a 2-1 defeat on home soil at the hands of Sundowns on Tuesday evening and will be eager to bounce back to winning ways on Saturday afternoon. Phunya Sele Sele are unbeaten in the last seven meetings against Platinum Stars and are tipped to build on that.
Orlando Pirates 9/10 | Draw 22/10 | Polokwane City 31/10
Orlando Pirates are winless in their last eight matches with four defeats and four draws. However, the new manager, Kjell Jonevret, has stepped in to provide some stability and steady what has been a sinking Pirates ship. The Swedish tactician was head coach at Norwegian top tier club Viking FK but stepped down from his role at the club in November last year. Can Jonevret guide Bucs back to their best? I think he can. He may lack experience in the PSL but he could bring something different to the table. Only time will tell.
Polokwane City are without a win in their last five games, including three 1-1 stalemates on the spin. They have been poor on their travels with just two wins from 10 matches. Polokwane are winless against Pirates in the last six meetings. The Buccaneers are lacking confidence but with the new coach at the helm, the players will be determined to prove their worth. Back Pirates to grind out a much-needed victory.
Mamelodi Sundowns 1/1 | Draw 22/10 | Bidvest Wits 26/10
Sundowns and Wits will go-to-toe toe in what in undoubtedly the PSL match of the weekend. The Brazilians have been excellent with six wins from their last eight matches. Downs have been outstanding on their ground with five wins from six games, scoring 21 goals and conceding just four times.
Wits are unbeaten in their last six matches, including three consecutive wins which consist of two 5-0 victories and a 2-1 win over Orlando Pirates. While Sundowns won the reverse tie 1-0, Wits thrashed the Brazilians 3-0 in the MTN8 Cup final. This potential title-decider will go down to the wire, with the sides tipped to share the spoils.
Ajax Cape Town 24/10 | Draw 22/10 | Kaizer Chiefs 11/10
Ajax earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw away to Polokwane last time out, following back-to-back defeats. The Urban Warriors have struggled to win matches on home soil, recording just three wins from nine matches, scoring a measly eight goals.
Kaizer Chiefs are up next and the Glamour Boys are the most in-form team in the league with five wins on the spin. Amakhosi won the reverse tie 2-0 and are tipped to pull the double over their opponents.
Highlands Park 3/1 | Draw 22/10 | SuperSport United 9/10
Second from bottom on the log, Highlands Park, are without a win in their last five matches with a 1-0 defeat away to Kaizer Chiefs last time out. SuperSport, on the other hand, are unbeaten in the league since their opening day defeat at Platinum Stars, a run of 16 matches.
Matsatsantsa won the corresponding fixture 4-1 and are well worth a punt to come away with the win here. Back SuperSport to maintain their unbeaten run with a victory.
Sunday 26 February
Baroka FC 37/10 | Draw 23/10 | Cape Town City 8/10
Baroka were humiliated on Wednesday evening after being thrashed 5-0 by Bidvest Wits, with the defeat stretching their winless run to 13 matches in all competitions. They return to home soil this weekend, where they are yet to claim a win, scoring seven goals and conceding double that amount in 10 games.
Cape Town City salvaged a 2-2 stalemate against Pirates last time out and will look to return to winning ways. Prior to their draw last weekend, the Capetonians had won back-to-back matches against Highlands Park and Ajax Cape Town. It won’t be a walk in the Park, but Cape Town City are tipped to claim a narrow victory.
Maritzburg United 12/10 | Draw 21/10 | Free State Stars 22/10
Maritzburg United suffered a 2-1 defeat at home against Kaizer Chiefs last weekend, extending their run without a win to five matches, including consecutive losses. The Team of Choice have managed just one win from nine home games, scoring just eight goals in the process.
Free State Stars have been just as poor on their travels. However, Ea Lla Koto are off the back of a hard-earned 1-0 victory away to Golden Arrows and will be confident coming into this matchup. Not much separates the sides. The reserve tie ended 1-1 and another draw is on the cards.
TREBLE TIPPED @ 8/1
Chippa United Win (12/10)
Orlando Pirates Win (9/10)
Kaizer Chiefs Win (11/10)
Written by Aaron Crowie @Hollywoodbets