The elimination pain of the recent international break will likely never go away, but league football is the closest we can come to curing the symptoms of that illness. As players return to league action, we crunched the numbers to preview the weekend games.
DSTV Premiership is back, OptaJabu combs through the numbers and we come up with the best bets for your multis and bet slips as well as providing value bets.
Golden Arrows v Orlando Pirates
Mandla Ncikazi returns to his old club this weekend when Arrows host Pirates. KZN has been a happy hunting ground for the Buccaneers over the years, and they’ve lost just one of their last 12 matches away to KZN-based sides. However, that sole defeat came against Arrows in February this year. After leaking four against Cape Town City, Arrows have solidified at the back, keeping back-to-back clean sheets for the first time this season. Their first three home games were goal bonanzas, with Over 2.5 goals each, but the last two have seen Under 1.5 and Under 0.5 total.
5 – Five of the last eight matches between the sides have been goalless, with the other three seeing Under 1.5, Under 2.5 and Under 3.5 goals.
Stellenbosch United v AmaZulu
Benni McCarthy’s AmaZulu were all style and swagger in the second half of last season, but have been very inconsistent in this. Instead, the surprise mantra has passed onto Stellenbosch, who seemingly are the closest challengers to Sundowns. Alongside the defending champions, they are yet to lose this season and have kept clean sheets in each of their last three league matches. Yet, AmaZulu under Benni has a good record when visiting the city he called home for most of the last two years. AmaZulu have won their last two matches away to Cape opposition (v Stellies & CT City) under Benni, more than they won in their previous eight visits to the Cape (1).
1 – AmaZulu have won just one of their last six away league matches, failing to score in 4.
Cape Town City v Mamelodi Sundowns
The Citizens are already 13 points adrift in the title race, and the MTN8 trophy would have been a welcome addition to their burgeoning trophy cabinet. Instead, they face Sundowns again only a few weeks later. The least they’ll be hoping for is to do something no team has done this season – score against Sundowns. The last time City themselves scored against Sundowns was in the bio-bubble, scoring Under 0.5 in the two games they’ve played since.
23 – Sundowns are currently on a record breaking 22 away game unbeaten run in the league, and will be keen to make it 23 this weekend.
Maritzburg United v Kaizer Chiefs
With his successor suspended at Chippa, Ernst Midendorp meets the next man brought in after his departure – Stuart Baxter. The Team of Choice have lost just one of their last eleven league matches at home – a record usually synonymous with their Friday nights in front of fans. On the other hand, the dramatic Soweto derby victory could be the result that really gets Stuart Baxter going. He’ll be desperate to build on that momentum from the derby victory, given that Chiefs are only five points off second place. However, they have won just one out of six against Maritzburg in recent years, never scoring more than 1.5 goals. However:
0 – Ernst Middendorp is winless against Stuart Baxter Baxter in seven matches, losing each of his last 5.