UBUNTU CT FC v RICHARDS BAY FC
Two sides that changed their names at the beginning of the season and have already replaced their coaches in 2017 will meet in the Mother city on Friday in a bottom of the table clash. Ubuntu are rock bottom of the NFD log, have not won a match all season and have not scored a goal in their last 3 outings. This led to the club parting ways with coach Roger Links. Casey Prince takes over the helm at the club for Round 9. Richards Bay are 3 points better off than their hosts and if they win have a chance to escape the relegation zone for the first time in a month. This might be the first meeting under their new names, but their history goes back to the Promotional Playoffs in the 2008/09 season. Last season Thanda beat FC CT 4 – 1 both home and away.
BLACK LEOPARDS v HIGHLANDS PARK
Having escaped the relegation zone with a hard fought win over Tuks last weekend, there won’t be any time to relax for Lidoda Duvha as they face 4th placed Highlands Park on Saturday. The Lions of the North also had a confidence building win as they handed NFD Rookies Super Eagles their biggest loss in the pro ranks. The teams have met four times over the past two seasons with Highlands winning 3 with one draw.
MBOMBELA UNITED FC v WITBANK SPURS
With Stellenbosch FC only playing on Sunday, Mbombela have a chance to go to the top of the log with just a draw against Spurs in the first Mpumalanga derby of the season. With 4 wins in their last 5 outings, Mbombela are a side in form. They have strangely been playing better on the road than at home, but Kanyamazane is a tough place to visit as Spurs found out last season when they were humbled 5 – 1. Spurs will have confidence going into the match though as they moved away from the relegation zone with Ubuntu last week.
ROYAL EAGLES v CT ALL STARS
Royal Eagles might be the joint highest scoring side in the NFD, but have also conceded the joint highest amount of goals. A side struggling for consistency are12th on the log. All Stars started the season with a bang and were top of the table in round 3. Since a run of poor results has led to a coaching change and 7th place on the log. Last season Eagles hammered All Stars 6 – 2. The Cape side returned the favour in Cape Town 1 – 0 later in the season for their only win in 6 meetings between the two sides.
REAL KINGS v MTHATHA BUCKS
14th on the log, with only one win this season so far is not a good time to meet a side you have never beaten. Bucks come off a solid win over All Stars to creep into the top 5 on the log, and will be looking to build their status as a side to challenge for honours this season. Kings have drawn all 3 matches that they have played at home this season and will have to fight hard to win this one on Sunday.
SUPER EAGLES v JOMO COSMOS
Having suffered their biggest loss of their short pro career, NFD rookies Super Eagles will have rely on a good home record to get back to winning ways. And they might have a chance over a Cosmos side who are unbeaten at home but have yet to win on the road. Having said that – if Cosmos can show the guts that they produced in the win over Real Kings last weekend, the Vosloorus side could very well win on the road for the 1st time and climb into the top 5. This will be the first meeting between the two sides.
UTHONGATHI FC v TSHAKHUMA TSHA MADZIHANDILA
The KZN NFD Rookies face a tough task on Sunday if they are to preserve what is a decent home record this season so far. Visiting TTM FC will be brimming with confidence after ending the unbeaten record of Stellenbosch FC last weekend. Having said that, Uthongathi have beaten both Leopards and Spurs at home this season and wil take a huge boost of confidence should they take beat the Limpopo side.
STELLENBOSCH FC v UNIVERSITY of PRETORIA
A clash to look forward to on Sunday sees two of the top three sides meeting at the Athlone Stadium. Both sides lost 0 – 1 last week to Limpopo opposition and will be eager to get back to winning ways. Stellenbosch FC lost their overall unbeaten record in a loss away to TTM FC, while Tuks lost their unbeaten home record to Leopards. Tuks beat Stellenbosch 2 – 1 in the Cape last season and a repeat result would see the side from the capital jump over the current log leaders.