Absa Premiership Weekend Preview
Mpumalanga Black Aces will hope to return back to winning ways when they host Platinum Stars at the Mbombela Stadium on Friday night, kickoff at 8pm GMT+2.
The Amazayoni have been producing mixed of results since the turn of the year, and they will have to start picking up points if they are to achieve their objective of finishing in the top-half of the table. The Nelspruit outfit lost 2-0 in their last outing at Bloemfontein Celtic to remain 12th on the log with 23 points after 18 games.
Platinum Stars have not been consistent in the League run like the way they have been in the Cup matches that led them to win two cups so far this season and they are in the last-16 of the Nedbank Cup. Dikwena are losing touch with runaway leaders Kaizer Chiefs as they sit 7th on the standings with 27 points after 18 matches.
On Saturday afternoon, relegation fighters Free State Stars will hope to beat visiting Ajax Cape Town and move level on points with 14th placed Polokwane City, who are occupying an automatic safety position as the Ea Lla Koto are second from bottom and face a relegation play-off in the 15th place.
The struggling side are facing a tough Ajax Cape Town side that is now coached by former Orlando Pirates coach Roger de Sa. The Urban Warriors beat Polokwane City in their last match to stay in touch with the top-half of the table teams. The Cape Town side are ninth on the log with 26 points from 20 games.
Orlando Pirates can boost their title hopes when they visit University of Pretoria at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday evening kickoff. The Buccaneers will be out to register their third straight win and a win on Saturday against the bottom-half placed AmaTuks can move them one place up on the log to fourth with 33 points from 18 matches.
On Sunday afternoon matches, Moroka Swallows will target their first win in 2014 when they welcome in-form Bloemfontein Celtic at the Dobsonville Stadium, kickoff at 15:30 GMT+2.
The Dube Birds have been poor lately and they needed extra-time to beat third tier side Mbombela United 4-3 in the last-32 of the Nedbank Cup before going down 1-0 in the League match against Maritzburg United away from home last Friday.
The Soweto side will have to dig deep on Sunday if they are to defeat Siwelele, who are now guided by German mentor Ernst Middendorp. The Free State side beat MP Black Aces 2-0 last week to move into the top-half of the table with 26 points after 17 games so far this season.
Out of form Mamelodi Sundowns side will hope to return to winning ways and close a gap between them and leaders Kaizer Chiefs when they visit AmaZulu at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
The Brazilians are second on the log with 34 points, nine points behind pacesetter Kaizer Chiefs. The Pitso Mosimane’ side, that have been suffering with injuries lately, might be without attacking midfielder Khama Billiat, who missed the match against Bidvest Wits after picking an injury before his side lost for the second time on the trot against the Clever Boys last Saturday.
Usuthu on the other side will hope history does not repeat itself after they were thrashed by the Pretoria-side 7-1 when both sides met in the first round at the Loftus Stadium.
In the last fixture on the weekend matches, Polokwane City will hope to half impressing Bidvest Wits and stop flirting with relegation when both side meet at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Rise and Shine have been surprising big clubs at home this season after Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns left the city of Polokwane empty handed in league matches. The great news for Bobby Solomon’s men will be that the Clever Boys are only unbeaten at home, but Cavin Hunt’s side knows a win is a must if they are to chase Kaizer Chiefs for the League title.
The Johannesburg side are third on the log with 34 points and only a goal difference separates them with second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns. Polokwane City are one place from the relegation play off with 19 points, and six points off the automatic drop