The opening weekend of the DSTV Premiership is behind us, and what an entertaining weekend it was. Sundowns 3-0 win over Chiefs set the tone for a goal-laden weekend, with 18 goals scored in the eight games played on Matchday 1.
Altogether, 14 teams found the net in their opening DSTV Premiership matches this weekend, a record in the 16-team PSL era, and a joint-record in the whole PSL era (14 also in 1999/2000, in an 18-team league).
There are some big matches on Wednesday in the PSL and OptaJabu has crunched the numbers and crafted a nice multiple below. Outside of that multiple there also other value bets you can take. We profiled three matches, TTM v Sundowns, Maritzburg v Cape Town City and Pirates v Stellenbosch.
18:30 – Sundowns v TTM
After faltering in the MTN8 against Celtic, Sundowns beat Chiefs convincingly on Saturday, somewhat sending a strong message to those who thought they were not as hungry as before. The three goal margin was their biggest win against Chiefs in a league game in the PSL era, and Sundowns have won each of their last three league games by a 3-0 scoreline.
3 – Sundowns have won three successive league matches by a three goal margin for the first time since November 2000.
On the back of that performance against Chiefs, and a strong home record, we’re backing Sundowns to win their second league game when they play new boys Tshakuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) on Wednesday evening.
Suggested Bet: Sundowns (-1) at 2.20
In the PSL era, Downs have never scored 3+ goals in four successive league matches. Another three goal margin win is not inconceivable, given they are facing a league newbie, who conceded three in 25 minutes against Supersport in the first game.
1 – Sundowns have lost just one of their last 10 league matches to sides that were new to the top-flight, winning the last five in a row. In seven of those ten matches, they scored at least 2 goals.
Suggested Bet: Over 2.5 goals for Sundowns at 2.90
While Sundowns are impressive upfront, they have also kept five clean sheets in their last six league games. Their defensive prowess shouldn’t be overlooked, especially when playing at home. At home, Sundowns have conceded more than one goal in a league match only once since the beginning of last season. They have kept nine clean sheets at home since the start of last season. Only Chippa (10) have more clean sheets at home during that time.
10 – The clean sheet against Chiefs was Sundowns 10th in the top-flight in the 2020 calendar year, the most of all sides in the league.
18:30 – Cape Town City v Chippa
What happened to Maritzburg’s results? If there is one team whose results have taken the worst turn since the pandemic, it would be Maritzburg. Correlation is not necessarily causation, so it would be foolish to link their results to the virus – squad size, fixture congestion and the proverbial “not much to play for at the end of the season”, could be attributable to the downturn.
Between New Year’s Day and the first lockdown, Maritzburg won the most games (6*), scored the most goals (14*) and collected the most points (21) than any other top-flight team. Between lockdown and today, they are yet to win a game and have conceded 12 league goals – only Chiefs (13) have conceded more in the top-flight.
That said, if there is one fixture they could be hoping for an upturn in fortunes, it would be the Cape Town City one. Since joining the top-flight, City have conceded 12 league goals to Maritzburg, the second most of all sides they have played.
In addition, Cape Town City almost always concedes to Maritzburg. They have now kept just one clean sheet in eight games v Maritzburg since joining the league, the fewest for all teams they have faced at least five times.
Maritzburg will also be relieved to be back at Harry Gwala stadium. They lost just one of the last 10 matches they played at home before lockdown (Won 6 Drew 3) and found the net at least once in nine of those 10 games.
18:30 – Pirates v Stellenbosch
The goals have started to flow again for Pirates. Well, sort of. Five goals in the last four league games is not exactly prolific, but it is better than the one goal in six they endured in March/August last season. The 1-1 draw this weekend also came via a dubious penalty.
2014/15 was the last time Pirates failed to win both their first two season-opening league games. If they are to take advantage of Chiefs and Sundowns transitions and mount a title challenge of their own, Pirates can’t afford to slip up again so early. Their home record in the last two years is what you expect of a championship winning side.
2 – Of the 40 league games they have played at home since November 2017, Pirates have lost just two, drawing 16 and winning the other 22.
It’s the goalscoring problem that must be fixed, given that defensively, Pirates have been sound of late. They are yet to concede more than one goal in a league game since Zinnbauer took charge in December last year.
Yet, they have scored more than one goal in a league game only once in the last 11 games. Stellenbosch meanwhile, have also scored more than one goal only once in their last 22 league games. Bucs must find a way to start scoring and take advantage of the solid defence, because there will come a time when the defence starts to leak more than one goal. In fact, the two matches between the sides ended 1-0 last season.