Top Of The Table Clashes Headline PSL Weekend

Following the conclusion of the Nedbank Cup Round of 32 fixtures this past week, the ABSA Premiership returns on Friday and is serving up some real feasts at the top end of the table.

PSL weekend fixtures:

Friday, February 16th
Maritzburg vs Amazulu
Saturday, February 17th
Baroka vs Chippa
Arrows vs Wits
Chiefs vs CT City
Tuesday, February 20th
Plat. Stars vs Supersport
Wednesday, February 21st
Sundowns vs FS Stars

Maritzburg United vs Amazulu

With just two points and two places separating Maritzburg United in sixth and Amazulu in eighth, the pressure for victory in this Kwa-Zulu Natal derby is higher than ever. The Team of Choice dispatched Soweto side Moroka Swallows 3-1 in extra-time to reach the last-16 of the Nedbank Cup to cap a fine run of form so far in 2018 that has seen them register three wins from their six league matches since the turn of the year. Amazulu meanwhile needed a penalty shootout to separate themselves and Mthatha Bucks in the Nedbank Cup round of 32, Usuthu coming away 3-0 victors in the night to extend their unbeaten run to six matches. This will be the 19th league meeting between the pair since 2006, Amazulu with just three wins in that period compared to United’s eight.

Golden Arrows vs Bidvest Wits

Things are hotting up in the bottom half of the ABSA Premiership and that’s where we will turn our attention to for a minute. There are just five points between Chippa United, currently seventh on the log, and Ajax Cape Town in 15th. As the defending champions, Bidvest Wits could leapfrog this weekend’s opponents and jump as many as four places with a win over Golden Arrows on Saturday. Gavin Hunt’s men have seen a turnaround in their league form, notching up three wins from their last five but were dumped out of the cup by Benni McCarthy’s Cape Town City. Arrows cup journey is over too following a 3-0 defeat to Kaizer Chiefs which leaves Abafana Bes’thende with just one win from their last 17 matches in all competitions. Arrows 3-1 win over Wits earlier in the campaign was their first victory over the Clever Boys in the league since 2008.

Kaizer Chiefs vs Cape Town City

Amakhosi could cut the gap to the top of the table down to just four points with victory on Saturday as Pitso Mosimane’s Mamelodi Sundowns are not in action until Wednesday evening. Chiefs are unbeaten in their last eight matches in all competitions since defeat at Chippa before the festive break, winning five of those, ahead of their clash with Cape Town City. They shared the spoils in the corresponding fixture last season, George Maluleka’s 3rd-minute opener cancelled out by Matthew Sim’s second-half strike as the teams settled for a 1-1 draw. Steve Khompela saw his side claim victory though earlier in the campaign when Simphiwe Tshabalala and Wiseman Meyiwa both scored to secure a 2-0 win and end City’s early unbeaten run.

Platinum Stars vs Supersport United

A real relegation dogfight for the basement boys Platinum Stars who find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table and already six points adrift of safety. Defeat at home on Tuesday against a Supersport United side, who are struggling themselves to string a series of wins together, could be the first nail in the coffin that sees Stars slip out of the top-flight and into the depth of the National First Division. Dikwena have registered just three wins all season, two of those coming in the space of 10 days in December against Polokwane City and Wits respectively with one solitary victory at home over Ajax Cape Town in November. They have three wins from their last five attempts against Matsatsantsa including a 1-0 win in this fixture last season and will need a real slice of luck to pull of another major shock and keep their survival hopes alive.

Mamelodi Sundowns vs Free State Stars

Arguably the biggest match in this round of fixtures pits first-place Mamelodi Sundowns against Free State Stars who currently occupy third place, six points behind the leaders. Free State Stars could throw a spanner into the works of Downs charge in 2018 and lay claim that they are up for a title challenge themselves. Sundowns have suffered three defeats in their last eight, showing small signs of frailty and Stars will be hoping to capitalise on any chance they may get against a side that have defeated them in 14 of their last 15 meetings scoring nearly 2.5 goals per game, including 5-2 and 6-1 scorelines for the Brazilians away from home over Ea Lla Koto in the 2015/16 season in both the league and cup respectively. Downs won the corresponding game last season 4-1, in form winger Percy Tau twice on the scoresheet that evening.

Published: 02/16/2018