Domestic football returns this weekend with six fixtures lined up in the DSTV Premiership on Saturday (3) and Sunday (3). To refresh, Sundowns remain top of the league, despite not playing in almost two months. However, one team can leapfrog them to the top of the table, and they are included in this preview. Here is a numbers-based look at what to expect this weekend.
AmaZulu v Stellenbosch
AmaZulu are unbeaten in all six games at home this season, a proud record they share only with Sundowns. That may be a heavy factor in why they are favored to win this game (2.5/1) but even then, they are only just ahead of Stellenbosch (2.9/1). Stellies have impressed in the League Cup, winning both their games on the road, but their away league form has been forgettable with just three wins in 16 away league games (P16 W3 D6 L7). While two of those three wins came in KZN, they have a lot to do against one of the league’s best defences, who have kept a clean sheet in a league-high 55% of games.
0 – Stellies have never won a league game away to AmaZulu (P4 W0 D1 L3 = 1 point); their worst points total away to any current top-flight team.
Richards Bay v Orlando Pirates
Pirates may have won the first piece of silverware of the season, but their league form has been underwhelming. Perhaps the expectations raised by the former have a lot to do with the latter. Jose Riveiro will be desperate for a run of league wins if only to look at the table and see his team closer to where he’d like them to be. They come into this following back-to-back wins (including a massive derby win) and will be eyeing another point away from struggling Richards Bay. However, the hosts will be confident after knocking Pirates out of the Cup recently, albeit via penalties. The odds are heavily in favour of the visitors, but this could also be close.
12 – Pirates have not scored more than one open-play goal in any of their last 12 games. Open-play goal record since 17 September: 0-0-0-1-0-1-0-1-1-0-1-1.
Swallows v Kaizer Chiefs
Swallows have been decent under Steve Komphela this season, and currently sit in 5th place. Five games unbeaten is hardly astonishing form, but Cavin Johnson would bite your hand off if you offered him 11 points from the next 15. Yet, that says more about Chiefs’ predicament than anything. Most of the talk in the run-up to this will likely focus on the dugout. The return of Steve Komphela who spent three seasons at Naturena, plus Cavin Johnson still finding his feet at the same place should offer a compelling narrative. But the other bit is how this game has seen both teams score in five of their six matches since Swallows’ promotion. Indeed, four of the six games between them have seen Over 2.5 goals.
7 – Cavin Johnson has won 7 games against Steve Komphela (P16 W7 D5 L4), more than he has against any other PSL coach.
Golden Arrows v Cape Town City
The Citizens were winning games for fun before the international break, with five on the bounce setting a new club record. Eric Tinkler is probably the most annoyed coach in the country, regarding the timing of the break, given his team’s momentum. They can make that six this Sunday, vs an Arrows side who’ve lost their way a bit in recent weeks. Indeed, the international break would have come as a relief to Mabhudi Khanyeza, whose team was stuck in a 3-game losing streak. Arrows (2.5/1) are favoured to win here, maybe as a tribute to their home form – one loss in the last nine at home in all competitions. Maybe as an acknowledgment of City’s struggles to consistently win on the road.
3 – City have won back-to-back matches away matches in the league. They’ve never won three in a row away from home in the same season.