CT ALL STARS v SUPER EAGLES
All Stars are unbeaten in 2018 and will hope to keep it that way on Friday. The Cape side are in a group of 9 teams separated by just 7 points that are fighting for a Playoff place. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Super Eagles have won only once in the new year and are still in a gaggle of six teams divided by 4 points involved in the relegation scrap. All Stars registered a great win over TTM FC last weekend, while Eagles showed character by coming from behind to draw with Spurs. Super Eagles beat All Stars 1 – 0 in Round 11 in Bethlehem.
WITBANK SPURS v RICHARDS BAY
Both Spurs and Richards Bay dropped points last weekend and will want to get back to winning ways. Spurs led against Super Eagles before the Free State side equalised, while Richards Bay lost the KZN derby to Kings. The Witbank side have been in 8th position on the log for the past four weeks, but are part of that group of 9 teams fighting a realistic battle for place in the Playoffs. Their visitors are 4th from bottom, just 2 points above the drop zone and without a win in 4 outings. The side drew 0 – 0 in Round 11.
REAL KINGS v ROYAL EAGLES
A second KZN derby in as many weeks for both sides. Kings beat Richards Bay last week, while Eagles drew with Uthongathi. Kings beat Eagles 2 – 0 earlier in the season and another win will see the home side consolidate 2nd place on the log. While Kings have only lost one match in 2018, their opponent have only won one and are 14th on the log, just 1 point above the relegation zone.
MTHATHA BUCKS v BLACK LEOPARDS
One win in 2018 sees Mthatha Bucks remain in the relegation zone for a 7th week. The Eastern Cape side are unbeaten at home this year with 2 draws and a win, and will hope to upset high flying Leopards on Saturday. Easier said than done perhaps because Lidoda Duvha have never lost in Mthatha and beat Bucks 2 – 0 in Thohoyandou in Round 11. A win for Leopards will consolidate their second half of the season challenge for honours, but also dampen the mood in Mthatha even more.
TSHAKHUMA TSHA MADZIHANDILA v MBOMBELA UNITED FC
Although both TTM FC and Mbombela lost last weekend, they are both still in that bunch of 9 teams below logleaders Highlands who stand a chance of making the post season. The loss for TTM against All Stars was their only defeat of the new year and dropped them to 3rd, while Mbombela’s loss at Leopards was their third of 2018. Mbombela humbled TTM 3 – 0 in round 11, but will find it difficult to repeat that dose in Thohoyandou where the home side have lost only once all season.
JOMO COSMOS v STELLENBOSCH FC
Cosmos lost their unbeaten home record in that calamitous 0 – 4 capitulation to Highlands last week and wil again be under pressure with the visit of 6 time NFD logleaders and 6th placed Stellenbosch FC. The Cape side will be disappointed to have dropped points at home against bottom side Ubuntu last week after leading in that match. The two teams are separated on the log by goal difference alone with a winner, should there be one, consolidating their Playoff challenge. The sides played to a 2 – 2 draw earlier this season.
HIGHLANDS PARK v UTHONGATHI FC
Any thoughts by their detractors that the midweek Nedbank Cup loss to Stellenbosch FC would have derailed their season would have been more than surprised at the magnitude of the beating that the logleaders handed Cosmos in Vosloorus on Sunday. It was a win that improved the unbeaten record in the NFD this season to 16 matches and their run at the top of the log to 14 weeks. It appears to make the task of NFD rookies Uthongathi almost impossible. After all, Highlands won 1 – 0 in Tongaat in Round 11 and demolished another KZN side Royal Eagles 4 – 0 in their previous home match. But, the KZN team are fighting for NFD survival and will no doubt look for an upset.
UBUNTU CT FC v UNIVERSITY of PRETORIA
Ubuntu put up a brave performance in the Cape derby last weekend to come frm behind and snatch a point against Stellenbosch FC. Tuks on the other hand led Bucks in Mthatha before the home side grabbed an equalizer. The Cape side have been at the bottom of the log for the past 3 weeks, for 13 weeks in total and in the relegation zone for 17 weeks in a row. Tuks on the other hand might have slipped to 7th on the log, but are only 3 points away from the Playoffs. The teams played to a goalless draw in Pretoria in Round 11.