NFD 2017/18 - WEEK 13 PREVIEW

STELLENBOSCH FC v SUPER EAGLES

The pressure must surely be mounting on Stellenbosch FC coach Steve Barker whose team has dropped from being at the top of the log for five weeks, to 6th place at the moment. The Cape side have not won a match in 6 outings and haven’t scored a goal in 5 of those 6. A potential up side for the coach is the fact that 4 of the last 6 results have been draws with only 2 losses. But still – for a side chasing promotion? Their saving grace could very be this encounter against NFD rookies Super Eagles on Friday. The side from the Free State are yet to win on the road this season, scoring just 3 goals in their 5 away fixtures so far. This will be the first meeting between the two sides.

ROYAL EAGLES v BLACK LEOPARDS

A Mashiane brace last week saw Eagles scrape themselves out of the relegation zone. The KZN side will hope to build some momentum when they meet improving Leopards on Saturday. Easier said than done perhaps, as the Limpopo based side have won two in a row under new coach Minnaert and have climbed from 13th to 8th on the log. Eagles have not conceded a goal against Lidoda Duvha in the past three seasons with two wins and a draw and have never lost at home to Leopards. However, Eagles have only posted 1 home win all season.         

UBUNTU CT FC v CT ALL STARS

Ubuntu will take the confidence of their incredible 4 – 1 away win over Mthatha Bucks into the Cape Derby on Saturday in the hopes of escaping from the relegation zone for the first time in nine weeks. And they will fancy a good result against an All Stars team who have not won nor scored a goal in their last three outings. All Stars are on their third coach of the season, and have dropped from a top of the table spot in Round 3 to their current 10th position.       

RICHARDS BAY v HIGHLANDS PARK

Champions one year, then a sold franchise, a name change, a coaching change, a place in the relegation zone for 8 of the 12 rounds played so far, only one win all season, no wins in their last 7 outings and no goals in their last 3 matches. Not what the people of Richards Bay would have expected, but that is the reality. And now they face the league leaders who are unbeaten in their last 7 matches and have been at the top of the table for the past 4 weeks. What more is there to say? Oh yes – Last time they met two seasons ago, Highlands won 3 – 0 in Richards Bay. Complacency for Highlands could play a role, but under coach ODG? Seems unlikely.

UNIVERSITY of PRETORIA v TSHAKHUMA TSHA MADZIHANDILA

Tuks will be looking to apply more pressure to logleaders Highlands when they meet tricky TTM FC on Saturday. The student side are on an unbeaten run of 4 matches and while they have not been at the top of the table yet, they have spent 5 weeks in total in 2nd place on the log. TTM FC have only one win on the road this season, but that was in Tembisa over logleaders Highlands Park. Since then the Limpopo side have played to 2 wins, 2 losses and 4 draws and have slipped into the bottom half of the table. Tuks beat Milano United FC both home and away last season, but much has changed since then.

WITBANK SPURS v JOMO COSMOS

An unbeaten run of 5 matches and a draw in Tembisa with logleaders Highlands Park last week will give Spurs some confidence going into their Saturday encounter with title chasing Cosmos. The down side for the home team is the fact that they have played to draws in their last three outings and two of those have been goalless. Cosmos have only won once on the road so far, but are unbeaten at home and 3rd on the log. They have set certain targets to win the NFD title and one of those is getting more wins on the road.   

MBOMBELA UNITED FC v MTHATHA BUCKS

Both Mbombela and Mthatha Bucks are looking to bounce back to winning ways on Sunday after suffering gutwrenching 4 – 1 losses last weekend. The home side will in some way rely on an unbeaten home record against their Eastern Cape rivals and a higher position on the log. Mbombela are 4th while Bucks are in 11th and without a win in their last four outings. Bucks have yet to appoint a new coach and have some trouble in the camp with the suspension of new signing Nomandela and Ntjolo due to ill-discipline on and off the field.       

UTHONGATHI FC v REAL KINGS FC

A KZN derby that will be shown live on Supersport rounds off the weekend’s action. The two sides are moving in opposite directions on the log with Uthongathi not posting a win in 5 matches without scoring a goal in their last 4 outings. Real Kings in the meantime have been in 5th spot for the last two weeks and are unbeaten in four outings. Kings haven’t conceded a goal in those four matches. Simo Dladla also recently celebrated his birthday and his 100th match in charge of Kings.