BLACK LEOPARDS v MTHATHA BUCKS
The international break probably came at the right time for Lidoda Duvha, giving new coach Ivan Minnaert the opportunity to familiarise himself with the 13th placed Limpopo club. The Belgian faces a tough opposition against an Mthatha Bucks side who have also ditched their coach, but not replaced him yet. Bucks won a friendly match 1 – 0 against Chippa during the international break, with Erasmus scoring the only goal. He hasn’t scored in the NFD since 23 September. The other significance of the Chippa match is the persistent rumour that former Chippa and Richards Bay coach Roger Sikhakane might be on his way to Mthatha. Bucks beat Leopards 3 – 0 in this fixture last season with goals from Kangwa, Maqokolo and Ngebo.
RICHARDS BAY FC v WITBANK SPURS
Former Leopards coach, Jean Losciuto is another coach starting a new job after the international break and will be hoping to guide the former Thanda away from the relegation zone where they have been for 7 of the past 10 weeks. Spurs have never won in Richards Bay, but have a great opportunity to change that on Saturday. Last season Thanda beat Spurs 5 – 1 with Cele grabbing 4 of those goals. But, much has changed since then. Spurs are 7th on the log and unbeaten in their last 3 outings.
UNIVERSITY of PRETORIA v UBUNTU CT FC
Ubuntu have a tough task at hand if they are to pick up their first win of the season when they travel to 2nd placed Tuks at the Tuks Stadium on Saturday. The former FC Cape Town played 3 home draws against Tuks in the past and have only won once in 6 outings against the side from the capital. While not having seen the top of the table yet this season, Tuks have spent 4 weeks in 2nd place. Ubuntu on the other hand have spent the last 6 weeks in the relegation zone with 5 of those being at the bottom of the log.
MBOMBELA UNITED FC v TSHAKHUMA TSHA MADZIHANDILA
4 plays 6 on the log with one point separating the two sides on Saturday. TTM FC travel to Mpumalanga on the back of an unbeaten run of 5 matches. Although Mbombela are in 4th place they are showing a lot of inconsistency, hence the recall of Ashwin Sutton to the club. Mbombela won all four previous meeting with the former Milano United FC without conceding a goal over two seasons. So a big task awaits Sello Chokoe.
ROYAL EAGLES v REAL KINGS
A KZN derby will catch some interest at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday when inconsistent Eagles will hope to get further away from the relegation zone that the 1 point gap at present. In their favour is the fact that Eagles won and drew against Kings last season in their only meetings to date. Eagles however have not won in 3 outings, while their opponents come into this encounter on the back of successive 1 – 0 wins.
UTHONGATHI FC v HIGHLANDS PARK
Saturday will be another severe test for the newly promoted Uthongathi when they face former PSL side and current NFD logleaders Highlands Park. While the KZN side have not won on their last 3 outings the Lions of the North have put together an impressive unbeaten run of 5 matches with 4 wins and a draw. Highlands haven’t conceded a goal in their last three outings, scoring 7 in the process, including a 3 – 0 hammering of Stellenbosch FC before the international break. This will be the first meeting between the two sides.
STELLENBOSCH FC v JOMO COSMOS
Due to the unavailability of the Athlone Stadium on Sunday, the two title chasing sides will meet at the King Zwelithini Stadium in KZN. The Cape side will be hoping to get back to winning ways after being trounced 3 – 0 by logleaders Highlands Park before the international break. In fact the situation is a lot worse than just that loss as Stellenbosch FC have not won or scored a goal in their last 4 outings. By contrast, Cosmos have only lost once in their last 7 matches and have climbed from 10th to 3rd on the log. If there is a positive for the Cape side it come with the fact that they have never lost at home to Cosmos.
SUPER EAGLES FC v CT ALL STARS
Jesus Antonio Flores has only been in charge of newly promoted Super Eagle for a couple of days and it will be interesting to see what his influence will be in this his first outing with the club. After a fair start to the season, Eagles have slumped to a 4 match no win situation and a drop down the table from 7th to 14th. The Free State side are only 1 position and 1 point above the relegation zone. Visiting All Stars slipped into the bottom half of the table for the first time this season after their Round 10 loss at home against Real Kings. So there will be some pressure on coach Vladislav Heric to come away from Goble Park with 3 points on Sunday. This will be the first meeting between the two sides.