PSL basement dwellers seek escape route

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AmaZulu will look to continue collecting points as they attempt to move off the base of the 16-team table when they host struggling Free State Stars, who are not far off the danger zone in 14th position. Platinum Stars, another side in danger of the chop, are at home to Ajax Cape Town, eager to collect maximum points to keep some distance between themselves and Usuthu. Here we look at this weekend’s five matches.

AmaZulu v Free State Stars

Venue: Moses Mabhida Stadium

Kick-Off: 3pm

TV: SABC1

Form: (Last five matches, most recent first)

AmaZulu: D W D W L

Stars: L L D D D

First Round: Stars 0 AmaZulu 0

Usuthu continue to remain hopeful they will beat the automatic chop despite their mini-resurgence not taking them off the bottom of the table. They will be at home this weekend, and Steve Barker will know only too well that nothing less than victory over Stars will do. They have the attacking power and confidence - built up in recent matches - to overcome Stars. And they should.

Prediction: AmaZulu 1 Stars 0

Maritzburg United v SuperSport United

Venue: Harry Gwala Stadium

Kick-Off: 3pm

TV: SS4

Form:

Maritzburg: W W L D D

SuperSport: W L L L W

First Round:SuperSport 1 Maritzburg 4

SuperSport have rekindled their winning form following a disappointing run of results that served to undermine the good work done by Gordon Igesund when he took over from Cavin Johnson. Through to the Nedbank Cup quarter-final, Matsatsantsa have made it clear they want to secure a top-eight spot and victory here will see them usurp a Maritzburg outfit that are above them on the table only due to a better goal difference.

But Steve Komphela (pictured centre) and his men are also eager to stay in the top eight and will protect their position like a mother hen does its young. They are chasing a third successive win and would love to hammer SuperSport, as they did in the first round.

Prediction: Maritzburg 2 SuperSport 2

Platinum Stars v Ajax Cape Town

Venue: Royal Bafokeng Stadium

Kick-Off: 3pm

TV: SS4

Form

Stars: L W W L L

Ajax: W W L W D

First Round: Ajax 2 Stars 1

The threat of the play-offs continues to loom large over a Platinum Stars outfit that sent coach Alan Freese swelling the ranks of the country’s unemployed as they look to turn their fortunes around.

Cavin Johnson is now back in charge of the team and he will hope to inspire the side to a victory that will not only see them put some distance between themselves and Free State Stars and Moroka Swallows but also go above Chippa United and Black Aces. But in Ajax they face a team in good form and determined to hold on to the lofty fifth spot until the end of the season. Stars’ desperation and the desire to impress the new man in charge will drive them to success.

Prediction: Stars 1 Ajax 0

Polokwane City v Bidvest Wits

Venue: Old Peter Mokaba Stadium

Kick-Off: 8pm

TV: SABC1

Form

City: W L D L W

Wits: L L W W W

First Round: Wits 0 City 2

Gavin Hunt and his team travel to Polokwane intent on avoiding a third successive loss following an indifferent run of form that put paid to their standing as championship dark horses. Surely out of the running, Wits will be playing the remaining matches attempting to finish in the top three at least. They face a City side that continue to blow hot and cold but one that know how to score goals.

Kosta Papic’s team bounced back in spectacular fashion from their 5-0 hammering by Sundowns to clobber a Celtic side hitherto unbeaten this year 3-0. They beat Wits in the first round and will fancy their chances of completing a double over Wits.

Prediction: City 2 Wits 1

Sunday:

Bloemfontein Celtic v University of Pretoria

Venue: Kaizer Sebothelo Stadium

Kick-Off: 3pm

TV: SS4/SABC1

Form:

Celtic: L W W W W

Tuks: L L W W D

First Round: Tuks 1 Celtic 2

Clinton Larsen (pictured) and his men were brought back to earth with a thud in Polokwane in Celtic’s last outing before the international break. They would love nothing more than to show they are still a force to be reckoned with and youngster Thapelo Morena should be on a high after making his Bafana debut against Swaziland.

The same story applies to their opponents, Tuks having lost their last match and also boasting a Bafana newcomer in Thabo Mnyamane, who scored on debut for the national team in that 3-1 victory over the Swazis. It makes for a fascinating clash with plenty of goals in store.

Prediction: Celtic 3 Tuks 2

Saturday Star

Original source: PSL basement dwellers seek escape route

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