NFD 2017/18 - WEEK 17 PREVIEW

HIGHLANDS PARK v REAL KINGS

Surely the clash of the weekend see table topping Highlands Park have an opportunity to maintain or even extend their 5 point lead over the chasing pack when they meet title chasing Real Kings on Saturday in Tembisa. The two teams have met twice already this season, playing 1 – 1 in KZN in the NFD and Highlands posting a hard fought 2 – 1 win in the Nedbank Cup. A win for Kings will close the gap to the logleaders to just 3 points, but if the home side win and extend their 11 match unbeaten record, then Kings will be 9 points behind. Both sides registered good wins last weekend.

WITBANK SPURS v UTHONGATHI FC

With both sides suffering defeats at the start of 2018 and both in the bottom half of the table there is work to be done for Spurs and Uthongathi. Spurs have only lost once at home all season, while the KZN side are yet to post a victory on the road in their debut NFD season. Uthongathi did beat Spurs 1 – 0 at home in Round 7 with Vilane scoring on the day.

MTHATHA BUCKS v ROYAL EAGLES

Mthatha Bucks will hoping for a return to the victory circle when they meet Royal Eagles in a relegation battle in Mthatha. Usually a fortress for the home side, Bucks haven’t won at home since 22 October last year. Eagles have only won once on the road all season, and with both sides losing last weekend there is a lot to prove for both sides and their new coaches. Eagles beat Bucks 3 – 1 in Round 7 with goals from Sauls, Mncube and Brown.  

UNIVERSITY of PRETORIA v SUPER EAGLES

Tuks will want to bounce back to winning ways after their 0 – 4 loss to Leopards as quickly as possible to continue the challenge for NFD honours this season. 4th on the log, Tuks are only 2 points away from a place in the Promotional Playoffs, but have to play the bulk of their matches away from home in 2018. Eagles were hammered 3 – 0 by Highlands Park last week and have yet to post an away win in their debut NFD season. The teams played to a 1 – 1 draw in Round 7.    

MBOMBELA UNITED FC v UBUNTU CT FC

Mbombela have a bit of ground to make up after being docked 3 points in the PSL boardroom for field a player illegally against TTM FC. The Mpumalanga side are 5th on the log and still in touch with the chasing pack despite the penalty. They face an Ubuntu side fresh of their first home win of the season, against another Mpumalanga side – Spurs. With both side winning at the beginning of 2018, both sides will have confidence coming into this encounter. Mbombela beat Ubuntu 1 – 0 when they met earlier this season.

RICHARDS BAY v STELLENBOSCH FC

Two victories in a row has seen Richards Bay climb off the bottom of the table and up to 13th. Perhaps the right time to play a Stellenbosch FC side who are struggling for any consistency and started 2018 with a 0 – 2 loss to TTM FC at home. The loss dropped the Cape side to 7th on the log, their lowest position all season. The teams played to a goalless draw earlier this season.       

JOMO COSMOS v CT ALL STARS

Cosmos are proving to be untouchable at home, but quite the opposite on the road where they have only posted 6 points all season. Cosmos opened 2018 with an away loss at Real Kings, while All Stars drew at home with Bucks. Cosmos have won 7 out of 8 matches in Vosloorus with the single draw coming against Uthongathi in late September. The Cape side haven’t won in their last 3 outings, but did beat Cosmos in Round 7 with a Setelele goal.

TSHAKHUMA TSHA MADZIHANDILA v BLACK LEOPARDS

A Limpopo derby to savour on Sunday as TTM FC and Leopards meet for the second time this season. Both sides coming off impressive wins over title contenders last weekend. TTM FC beat Stellenbosch FC 2 – 0 in the Cape, while Leopards destroyed Tuks 4 – 0 in Thohoyandou. With the teams having played to an exciting televised goalless draw in Round 7, bragging right are still very much up for grabs in this one.