A top of the table clash kicks off DSTV Premiership weekend action with Sundowns hosting Swallows FC, it also happens to be a top of the table clash. Elsewhere, Kaizer Chiefs are looking for a fourth win on the trot on Saturday while Orlando pirates needs to restart their season. On Sunday, the ever exciting Cape Town City take on Arrows
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.
15:00 – Mamelodi Sundowns v Swallows FC
Sundowns and Swallows FC clash this Saturday in another top-of-the-table clash in the DSTV Premiership. Both teams dropped points during the week, and Swallows will be more disappointed given that they missed out on the chance to go top ahead of this clash, which may have given them a psychological advantage.
Although many expected a lot of goals in last week’s top-of-the table clash between Supersport and Sundowns, it ended goalless as the two sides cancelled each other out. In these big fixtures, teams tend to sit back and play the waiting game, happy to take home a point. The two teams are yet to trail at half-time this season and are two of three unbeaten sides so far.
As for Sundowns, their richly assembled pieces failed to click for a second successive game, after their midweek match against Celtic ended goalless. Failure to score on Saturday would be a worry for Mngqithi and his team, who boast a plethora of the country’s best attacking players. You have to go as far back as the 2002/3 season to find a time when Sundowns had a run of three goalless draws in such a short space of time (9 days in January 2003).
On the bright side, Downs managed to keep another clean sheet, their ninth of the season and fourth in a row. The last time Sundowns kept five clean sheets in a row in the league was November/December 2017. They come across the likes of recently crowned Player of the Month Ruzaigh Gamildien, who will be looking to notch his 10th goal of the season in just 13 games.
1 – Swallows FC dropped points from a winning position for the first time in a home game this season.
3 – It has never happened that Sundowns fail to score in three successive PSL league games in a week.
8 – Swallows have scored Over 0.5 goals in eight successive games, but have only scored Over 1.5 open-play goals (excluding penalties) in just three of their 12 games.
17:00 – Maritzburg United v Orlando Pirates
City host Chiefs on Saturday afternoon still looking for their first win of the year. While defeat to high-flying Swallows FC is imaginable, the 2-2 draw against league newbies TTM is less forgivable for a side with their ambitions. The Citizens took a 2-0 lead, only to allow their hosts to fight back and share the spoils.
Matches involving City have been the most high scoring this season. There have been 34 goals in matches involving the Citizens, more than any other team has seen. Of the 10 matches played this season, only one match has seen less than 1.5 goals, with the other nine seeing Over 1.5 goals each.
They travel to a Maritzburg side whose mini revival was brought to an abrupt halt during the week as they lost 3-0 to TS Galaxy. For Pirates, the draw against Arrows was especially disappointing in that they failed to find the net yet again. Yet, Pirates still managed to do something no team has done all season, they became the first side to keep a clean sheet against Golden Arrows this season.
One problem for Pirates has been their hesitant start to games. Often praised for a defence that rarely lets in more than a goal, Zinnbauer’s men tend to play with the handbrake on. Since the opening day 1-1 draw against AmaZulu, they have been leading at half-time in just one of the 11 matches they have played. In a league table based on just first half-results only, Pirates are 14th. In a league table based on second-half results only, Pirates are 2nd.
0 – Pirates are the only team that has not been outscored in the second-half of league matches this season, drawing seven times and outsourcing their opponents on five occasions.
17:00 – Stellenbosch FC v Kaizer Chiefs
Chiefs’ mini revival is starting to gather momentum, and they now find themselves in seventh following a run of three successive wins. Should they win against Stellenboach on Saturday afternoon, they will be level on points with fourth placed Golden Arrows. Given that four of the six sides above them play each other on the weekend, the onus will be on Hunt and co. to narrow the gap at the top.
The return of Nurkovic has coincided with the upturn in results, and his influence has been clear for all to see. The Serbian has already been involved in three goals in three starts since his return (a goal and two assists), and scored a brace the last time the two teams met. Ably assisted by Happy Mashiane and Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, the Chiefs frontline is starting to click.
Yet, Chiefs have allowed their opponents 42 shots in the current run of three wins, but only nine of them have been on target. Stellenbosch are a side that will huff and puff, even if they fall behind. They have claimed at least one point in each of the four games where they conceded the opening goal.
2 – Despite trailing 3-0 after 89 minutes, Stellies scored two injury time goals in their last game, only the third time in the 30-game PSL era a team has scored 2+ goals after the 90th minute.
6 – Chiefs have won each of their last 6 games played away to Cape-based opposition, scoring 16 goals and conceding just 4.
15:30 – Cape Town City v Golden Arrows
Golden Arrows visit Cape Town City on Sunday with both teams tied on 19-points and sitting on fourth and fifth on the table. City will be looking to build on their victory in Polokwane during the week, where they kept a first clean sheet in ten games. The victory over Leopards was City’s third away win this season, exceeding the total number of away wins they managed throughout last season (two).
The Citizens are the league’s top scorers this season, and have started most of their games on the front foot. City have scored more goals in the first-halves of matches (16) than any other side. They have actually scored more first-half goals than twelve sides have each managed in both halves combined. This includes Golden Arrows, who have only scored 14 goals altogether.
Having said that, City struggled a bit the last time they played a league game having returned from playing in the Limpopo province, losing 2-1 to Chiefs. Their opponents on Saturday are still unbeaten all season, and are now on a run of 11 consecutive league matches without defeat (W4 D7), their longest such run in their history as a PSL club. The blank against Pirates was their first of the season, having found the net in 10 of their opening 10 league games (a first for the club).
4 – City beat Arrows 4-1 in August last season, their biggest winning margin against any opponent they have faced under coach Jan Olde Riekerink.
18 – City have conceded 18 goals in the league this term. No side has conceded more (Baroka and Maritzburg also 18).