NFD PREVIEW - WEEK 17

BLACK LEOPARDS v SANTOS FC

Leopards travel back to Thohoyandou with a three point haul and a move into the top 5 after coming from behind to beat Milano last week. Lidoda Duvha will face another struggling Cape side in former PSL champions Santos. Santos were dumped to the bottom of the NFD table for the first time this season, after losing at home against CT All Stars. After doing the double over Leopards last season, Santos lost 1 – 2 to Leopards earlier this season and have slipped from a high of 3rd in Round 1 to the bottom of the log. Leopards might be in 5th place, but the congested nature of the log means that the Limpopo side are only 1 point away from a place in the Playoffs.

JOMO COSMOS v MILANO UNITED FC

Cosmos have moved this match from Potch to Tsakane on the East Rand and will be looking to maintain their unbeaten home record against a struggling Milano. Cosmos are 2 points away from a place in the top three while their opponent are 5 points clear from the relegation zone but without a win in 4 outings. Cosmos lost 1 – 2 away to the Cape side in Round 3, but have won all three past matches at home against Milano and have never conceded a goal at home to Milano.

AMAZULU FC v MTHATHA BUCKS

Three matches between the two sides have produced three draws over the years and with both sides playing to stalemates over the past weekend, the odds are probably fixed at another draw on Wednesday. With 10 draws this season. Bucks are the most drawing side in the league, in fact the Eastern Cape side and have drawn 8 of their last 9 matches. Amazulu are two points closer to the Playoffs that Bucks, but both sides are very much in the mix for potential honors this season.

WITBANK SPURS v THANDA ROYAL ZULU

Both Spurs and Thanda showed character in coming from behind in Round 16. Spurs were down 0 -2 to

Magesi and pulled back to draw 2 – 2, while Thanda trailed visiting Mbombela at home before scoring twice to increase the NFD lead to 12 points. Although Spurs have only lost once to Thanda at home in the past, they will be mindful of a 5 – 1 hammering that they suffered in Richards Bay in the 1st Round. Cele poached 4 of the Thanda goals on the day. Besides attempting to become the first side to beat Thanda this season, Spurs will want to improve on their current third position.

FC CAPE TOWN v UNIVERSITY of PRETORIA

An important away win over NFD rookies Real Kings over the weekend was the perfect start to 2017 for FC Cape Town, moving them eight points clear of the relegation zone. The Cape side have never beaten Tuks and should they do that they could potentially find themselves in the top half of the table for the 1st time since Round 5. Tuks drew at home against Amazulu last time out, but they have won three times on the road this season and could cause an upset. The teams played to a goalless draw in the first Round.              

STELLENBOSCH FC v MAGESI FC

Two sides that moved in opposite directions last weekend meet at the Athlone Stadium. Stellenbosch did well to take a point off Royal Eagles in Pietermaritzburg, but still dropped to 7th on the log, while Magesi gave up a 2 goal lead to allow Spurs back into the match played in Limpopo. The point however was enough to lift Magesi off the bottom of the table for the first time in 11 weeks. The Cape side beat Magesi 2 – 0 in their only meeting earlier this season.

CT ALL STARS v ROYAL EAGLES

A season 1st away win for All Stars lifted the Cape side 4 points clear of the relegation zone last weekend. In the meantime, Royal Eagles were being given a tough time by another Cape side, Stellenbosch FC, and dropped two points to end the weekend still in second place but by an extended 12 points behind logleaders Thanda. All Stars have never lost at home to Eagles and should they continue that record, will probably move further away from the drop zone. Eagles will no doubt be desperate to snatch all three points in order to stay in the mix as the best of the rest.        

MBOMBELA UNITED FC v REAL KINGS

Two sides who dropped points in losses over the weekend and two sides who are in the bottom half of the table do battle in Kanyamazane where Mbombela hold on to a treasured unbeaten record this season. Real Kings beat the Mpumalanga based side at home in the 1st Round at which time they were 5th on the log. Mbombela are the only team in the bottom half of the table with a positive goal difference.