17 December 2019, by: Leonard Solms

PSL Predictions – Matchday 15

Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits will each be in action twice in Matchday 15 as they look to make up for lost time in the PSL. Both teams have had to work their league schedules around CAF commitments.

Leaders Kaizer Chiefs face a potentially troublesome test this weekend, while Orlando Pirates will look to hit the ground running following the announcement of Josef Zinnbauer as their new head coach.

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Bidvest Wits vs. Mamelodi Sundowns (Tuesday 17 December, 19:30)

Moses Mabhida Stadium was the scene of Mamelodi Sundowns’ Telkom Knockout final triumph over Maritzburg United on Saturday. Come Tuesday, Masandawana face another crucial test there against Bidvest Wits in the Premiership.

As things stand, it appears as if a three-horse race to the league title between Chiefs, Wits and Sundowns is likely. The Brazilians trail Amakhosi by 10 points with a game in hand while the Clever Boys are 15 points off the pace with four fixtures to spare.

Both teams will likely be affected by fatigue picked up on their travels. A cagey contest is to be expected with a third 1-1 draw in a row between these teams predicted.

Prediction: 1-1 Draw

Suggested BET: BTTS at 1.05

BET: WIT v SUN

Bidvest Wits vs Cape Town City (Friday 20 December, 20:00)

There will be little time to rest for Wits as they return to more familiar territory to host Cape Town City on Friday.

Bidvest Stadium has been a happy hunting ground for the Citizens recently and they have won on their last five visits. Jan Olde Riekerink will hope to pick up where Benni McCarthy left off as far as that is concerned.

Keeping that record going against an in-form side will be a tough ask for City, who have been struggling to put away their chances.

Wits, however, have played their best football on the road this season and struggled somewhat at home with two wins and two defeats in the league at the time of writing. Olde Riekerink’s men are expected to come away with a point from Johannesburg.

Prediction: 0-0 Draw

Suggested BET: Draw at 1.85

BET: WIT v CTC

Orlando Pirates vs. Black Leopards (Saturday 21 December, 15:30)

Although it seems counter-intuitive to describe a match involving Orlando Pirates as a mid-table clash, that is what Saturday’s fixture against Black Leopards at Orlando Stadium will be.

Rhulani Mokwena has paid for his side’s poor form with Josef Zinnbauer having been appointed as the Buccaneers’ new head coach. Mokwena held the position briefly following the sudden departure of Serbian coach Milutin Sredojević.

Although Zinnbauer is unlikely to be on the touchline just yet, pending the arrival of his work permit, his appointment has created a difficult dynamic at the club. Mokwena has been an important asset since moving from Mamelodi Sundowns in 2017, but having been calling the shots for most of this season, it might be difficult to go back to being an assistant.

For better or worse, we may see a backlash from the Pirates players, who may well be out to impress the new boss.

Uncertainty regarding coaches is something which Black Leopards know about all too well. Luc Eymael arrived after Lionel Soccoia was shown the exit amid reports of clashes with technical team members and players.

The controversial Belgian coach has got off to an impressive start in terms of results. What adds a little bit of spice to this fixture is his previous claim that he was once approached by Pirates to be their coach.

With an experienced core of players including former Bucs captain Thabo Matlaba, he will be out to leapfrog the struggling giants on the Premiership table. Regardless of Pirates’ problems, it will not be an easy task.

Prediction: Orlando Pirates Win 2-1

Suggested BET: Pirates to win at 0.35

BET: PIR v LEO

Highlands Park vs. Golden Arrows (Saturday 21 December, 15:30)

Highlands Park will look to end a seven-game winless run in all competitions when they host Golden Arrows at Makhulong Stadium.

Abafana Bes’thende sits fourth in the Premiership, but they head into this game off the back of defeats to Black Leopards and Bidvest Wits. Like their hosts, they will be desperate to end off the year on a high note.

The Lions of the North lie eighth in the league and will be looking to stay in the top eight over the Christmas break.

Steve Komphela’s side has been consistent throughout the season. They have faced tough assignments against Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits recently but should have enough quality to pick up a favourable result against a struggling Highlands Park.

Prediction: Golden Arrows Win 2-1

Suggested BET: Arrows to win at 1.95

BET: HP v GA

Baroka vs. Stellenbosch (Saturday 21 December, 15:30)

Stellenbosch picked up their first win in the top flight in Polokwane against Polokwane City. Now, they return to face Baroka at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in desperate need of another.

Stellies sit bottom of the table and will be determined to escape the relegation zone before the mid-season break. Baroka themselves are only two points clear of Steve Barker’s side.

Bakgaga have not won at home in the league all season, but they came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with visiting Orlando Pirates in their last game.

With Stellenbosch winless in their last five fixtures home and away, a draw is the likely result.

Prediction: 1-1 Draw

Suggested BET: Draw at 1.95

BET: BAR v STL

Mamelodi Sundowns vs. Polokwane City (Saturday 21 December, 18:00)

Shortly after taking over as head coach of Chippa United, Clinton Larsen stunned Mamelodi Sundowns 2-1 in the Nedbank Cup. He can repeat that shock against the newly-crowned Telkom Knockout kings with his new club in Pretoria.

Sundowns are on a roll, unbeaten in six matches in all competitions at the time of writing — five of which have ended in victory. Pitso Mosimane has worked wonders to keep his squad fit and firing on all cylinders despite fixture congestion.

Rise and Shine have lost nine games on the trot, and although Larsen is a quality coach, it is difficult to see them halting that trend at Loftus Versfeld against the league champions.

Prediction: Mamelodi Sundowns Win 3-1

Suggested BET: Sundowns to win at 0.55

BET: SUN v PLK

Chippa United vs. SuperSport United (Saturday 21 December, 20:15)

Chippa United seek to continue their rise up the league table under new boss Norman Mapeza. The Chilli Boys have three wins in their last four games heading into the clash with SuperSport United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Matsatsantsa have been among the standout teams in the Premiership this season. They, too, have won three of their last four fixtures.

SuperSport United need the win as they cling onto their title ambitions, which are fast fading due to Kaizer Chiefs’ brilliant start to the season. Kaitano Tembo’s team is expected to come away with a narrow win in a contest between two teams with plenty of attacking quality.

Prediction: SuperSport United Win 2-1

Suggested BET: Supersport to win at 1.80

BET: CHI v SSU

Maritzburg United vs. Kaizer Chiefs (Sunday 22 December, 15:30)

Maritzburg United stunned Kaizer Chiefs 2-1 in the Telkom Knockout semi-finals, but Ernst Middendorp’s men will be out for revenge when they visit the Team of Choice in a league encounter at the Harry Gwala Stadium.

Eric Tinkler’s charges suffered heartbreak at the hands of Mamelodi Sundowns as they lost the Telkom Knockout final 2-1 to Mamelodi Sundowns. Judas Moseamedi put the Team of Choice ahead, but after Mauricio Affonso’s brace, the Maritzburg striker was denied a brace due to a dubious offside decision.

It will be tough for Maritzburg to pick themselves up after that disappointment, but they have proven their character time and time again this season. Kaizer Chiefs themselves have shown an ability to grind out results and are predicted to do so again.

Prediction: Kaizer Chiefs Win 1-0

Suggested BET: Chiefs to win at 1.85

BET: MAR v CHI

Bloemfontein Celtic vs. AmaZulu (Sunday 22 December, 15:30)

Coming off the back of a 5-3 defeat to Kaizer Chiefs, Bloemfontein Celtic host AmaZulu at the Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium.

Usuthu have kept two clean sheets in a row with Neil Boshoff in goal, so it will be interesting to see how a Bloem Celtic attack which shone against Kaizer Chiefs performs in this game.

Phunya Sele Sele struggled from set-pieces against Amakhosi, but AmaZulu have been struggling to score this season. With nearly half the season behind us, they still have not had a goalscorer in the Premiership bar Bongi Ntuli.

Home advantage should see Bloem Celtic over the line in this fixture, particularly given their largely impressive performance against Chiefs.

Prediction: Bloemfontein Celtic Win 1-0

Suggested BET: Celtic to win at 1.35

BET: CEL v AMA

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