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DSTV PREMIERSHIP – BIG THREE MATCHES PREVIEWS

Are we experiencing another season show where Mamelodi Sundowns are the main stage performers? They’re the defending champions and already log leaders for this campaign. Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs should be part of the programme, where are they? Let’s look at the big three fixtures.

Chippa United vs Orlando Pirates

Buccaneers had an uneven start to the new season losing in the MTN 8 quarterfinals and drawing their first two league games. However, they prevailed over the strong Swallows FC this past weekend. Their new playmaker Ntsako Makhubela has added a spark in attack while defensive midfielder Goodman Mosele has stabilized the center. Their shape looks good and their shaky defense is gradually recovering with the vocal center back Happy Jele guiding the team. Seems like they’ll get back onto their feet soon.

Any coach who’s in charge at Chippa is always under pressure considering the history of the club sacking coaches constantly. Chippa’s mentor Gavin Hunt is searching for points after his side’s defeat at Royal AM’s last week. He’s known to favour long balls over carpet football. The Chilli Boys rely mostly on their out and out striker Eva Nga who’s strong and troubles defenders in the air. Chippa have a solid defense and conceded one goal in their last three league games.

Prediction: Chippa United 0-1 Orlando Pirates

 

Recent league results:

Pirates: WDD

Chippa: LDW

Injuries/Doubtful/Suspensions:

Thembinkosi Lorch  -Injured (Pirates)

Innocent Maela – Injured (Pirates)

Zakhele Lepasa – Injured (Pirates)

Richard Ofori – Injured (Pirates)

*No injury/absentees update from Chippa as of yet.

Match details:

When – Saturday, 18-09-2021

Time – 15:00

Where – Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium

 

Kaizer Chiefs vs Royal AM

Despite losing their last league match to Mamelodi Sundowns, Amakhosi have shown some decent form this season. However, Stuart Baxter hasn’t utilized his squad to the fullest extent. He’s been overlooking the modern defender Njabulo Ngcobo who’s a one-on-one expert and comfortable on the ball. Instead he has played Eric Mathoho who seems to be a bit rusty. Baxter plays with two center midfielders Pathutshedzo Nange and Cole Alexander but there’s a missing offensive part. The pass master Nkosingiphile Ngcobo would be able to reinforce the attack – Baxter must substitute Nange for him. The quick winger Kgaugelo Sekgota is another man Baxter forgets, at least bring him as a 2nd half substitute to change the game.

Royal AM lost the first two league games but their performance wasn’t too bad. However, a win against Chippa over the past weekend was a major confidence booster. Thwihli Thwahla play a 4-3-3 formation that gives them a good attacking outlook. Their midfield is stable with the encore Given Mashikinya protecting the defense. The attack is held up by the quick Kabelo Mahlasela who’s back in form but they don’t have the best defense as they make severe errors at some points.

The speed of Chiefs’ attack will be burdensome to Royal AM’s unstable defense. However, the Durban side midfield will be too strong for Chiefs. I foresee a draw.

Prediction: Kaizer Chiefs 1-1 Royal AM

Recent league results:

Chiefs: LWD

Royal AM: WLL

Injuries/Doubtful/Suspensions:

Dumisani Zuma – Injured (Chiefs)

Leonardo Castro – Injured (Chiefs)

Siyabonga Ngezana – Injured (Chiefs)

*No injury/absentees update from Royal AM as of yet.

Match details:

When – Saturday, 18-09-2021

Time – 17:00

Where – FNB Stadium

Mamelodi Sundowns vs TS Galaxy

Sundowns seem to have found a balanced starting line up, and are unquestionably the best football playing team in the league. They have strength in midfield where the game is mostly won. Their box to box midfielder Andile Jali links the defense and midfield well and you hardly see an underperforming player in the team. Themba Zwane’s return from injury elevated the attack with the front man Peter Shalule getting more balls now and he scored in the last match. Masandawana’s defense is hard to break and haven’t conceded a goal yet in the league.

On the other side, The Rockets had an unpleasant start to the new season with two draws and a loss. Sometimes, the Galaxy’s young midfielder Ethan Brooks comes to the party alone and finds it tough to carry the whole team. Yes, the speedy Lindokuhle Mbatha is of help in attack but he’s old (36) and gets tired early. Weak defense is another concern for them with the regular center back Given Msimango injured.

Downs are undoubtedly too strong for the Mpumalanga based side. Taking into account Galaxy’s issues at the back, Sundowns’ quality up front will cause some harm.

Prediction: Mamelodi Sundowns 3-0 TS Galaxy

 

Recent league results:

Downs: WDW

Galaxy: DLD

Injuries/Doubtful/Suspensions:

Mothobi Mvala – Doubtful (Downs)

Gift Motupa – Doubtful (Downs)

Khuliso Mudau – Doubtful (Downs)

Lebohang Maboe – Injured (Downs)

Given Msimango – Injured (Galaxy)

Pogiso Sanoka – Suspended (Galaxy)

Match details:

When – Sunday, 19-09-2021

Time – 17:00

Where – Loftus Versfeld Stadium

Written by Sinethemba

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