NFD 2017/18 - WEEK 30 PREVIEW

SUPER EAGLES vs MTHATHA BUCKS

Coach Ian Palmer will hope that he can take his Super Eagles to victory over his former team Mthatha Bucks and retain their NFD status when they meet in Bethlehem on Sunday. Bucks are already relegated but will no doubt want to prove a point against their former mentor. Eagles must win to survive their first season in the NFD because although Ubuntu are 2 points behind Eagles, should the Cape side win and Eagles draw or lose, then Eagles will be relegated on goal difference. Eagles have a minus 14 GD, while Ubuntu have minus 9. If Eagles lose or draw and Ubuntu win, then both sides will leave Goble Park relegated to the ABC Motsepe League.

UTHONGATHI FC vs UNIVERSITY of PRETORIA

Uthongathi are the best placed of the 4 sides still trying to survive relegation. They are in 12th position and have a minus 5 goal difference. However there are two other teams on 31 points just above the relegation zone meaning that the KZN side will have to pull out all the stops for a win. Tuks are safe for another season, but are not likely to give the home side an easy ride on Sunday.

REAL KINGS vs CT ALL STARS

Kings will want to end their season on a high and qualify for the Playoffs with victory over All Stars. For the KZN side to achieve their goal, they will have to rely on Cosmos beating Leopards in Vosloorus. Kings are 2 points behind Leopards with a goal difference that is 8 goals less than the Limpopo side. A draw for Leopards against Cosmos should be good enough to maintain 3rd place, but should Leopards lose and Kings win – then Kings will be in the Playoffs.   

MBOMBELA UNITED FC vs RICHARDS BAY FC

Despite their win over Ubuntu last week, Richards Bay are still in the relegation battle and needing a win to be sure of their NFD status next season. Should the KZN lose and Super Eagles draw and 15th placed Ubuntu beat TTM FC, Richards Bay will be relegated. A draw for all four sides in the relegation battle will see the KZN side safe. A loss or draw for Ubuntu will also see Richards Bay safe. However, should Richards Bay win, then their status is secure.

STELLENBOSCH FC vs HIGHLANDS PARK

A match between two sides who sat at the top of the NFD standings for a total of 29 of the 30 weeks and meet in the final round of the NFD in a televised encounter that will see the trophy being handed over to the new NFD Champions. Highlands will want to end their season on a winning note and extend their unbeaten NFD run record to 25 matches. It might not be that easy though as the home side have seen a resurgence in form at the end of the season with an unbeaten run of 4 matches including 3 wins.       

UBUNTU CT FC vs TSHAKHUMA TSHA MADZIVHANDILA

In a desperate position after losing last week, nothing short of victory over TTM FC will be good enough for Ubuntu, otherwise they will be relegated. They might have to rely on other results too. If Ubuntu win and any of the 3 teams above them lose, then the Cape side will be safe. If Ubuntu win and either Super Eagles or Richards Bay draw, then Ubuntu will survive on goal difference. TTM FC won for the 1st time in 7 outings last week and could be the side to spoil the party for the Cape team.            

ROYAL EAGLES vs WITBANK SPURS

Spurs still have a chance to make the Playoffs if they beat Eagles and other results go in their favour. For the Witbank side to qualify for the post season, they have to beat Eagles, Leopards must lose to Cosmos and Kings must draw or lose against All Stars. A tall order, but not impossible. Eagles secured their place in the NFD for another season with a point against All Stars last week and will be able to play with no pressure.

JOMO COSMOS vs BLACK LEOPARDS

Cosmos secured their place in the Playoffs after surviving a tough encounter against Super Eagles last week. The win took them above Leopards into 2nd place after the Limpopo side lost to Highlands. Taking goal difference into account – Leopards need only a draw at home to secure 3rd place on the log, with Kings 8 goals behind and Spurs 12 adrfit on goal difference. A win for Leopards and they not only qualify for the Playoffs, but end the season 2nd, above Cosmos. However a loss for the home side and Leopards will leave the door open for both Real Kings and Witbank Spurs who are 2 points behind Lidoda Duvha.