NFD PREVIEW - WEEK 21

UNIVERSITY of PRETORIA v MBOMBELA UNITED FC

Tuks will be looking for their first ever win against the Mpumalanga based side when the teams meet in Pretoria on Saturday. While the homeside last played two weeks ago, Mbombela were in action in the Nedbank Cup and became one of only two NFD sides to make it to Round two in the competition with a 5 – 2 away win over Castle League side Days FC. The win was the first on the road all season for Mbombela and has probably come at just the right time, because they slipped to 12th place in 2017 and have only registered one win in the NFD this year so far. Tuks will want to get back to winning ways after their round 20 loss away at Real Kings. Tuks are 8th going into round 21, but only 4 points away from2nd place in a highly contested league to date.

BLACK LEOPARDS v CT ALL STARS

Leopards will be hoping to create a bit of history on Saturday by beating All Stars for the first time and maintain their second position on the log. Leopards are 8 points behind logleaders Thanda with 10 rounds to play, and cannot afford to drop points. All Stars lost to Bidvest Wits on Wednesday in the Nedbank Cup, but are unbeaten in the NFD in 2017 and have yet to concede a league goal this year. The Cape side are currently in 11th on the log, 8 points clear of the relegation zone.

MILANO UNITED FC v THANDA ROYAL ZULU

Milano have won every one of the five matches they have played at home against Thanda over the years and the NFD logleaders have dropped 9 points over the past four rounds. That appears to suggest that Milano will ease their relegation fears on Saturday without much difficulty – but stats can be seen in numerous ways. Not only have Thanda only lost once all season, but they lead the NFD by 8 points. Milano have only won once in their last 8 outings and are in 14th place on the log, four points above the relegation zone.  

ROYAL EAGLES v FC CAPE TOWN

Title challenging Royal Eagles’ only away win this season came against FC Cape Town in Round 8 in the Cape and the KZN side will be eager to do a season double over the Cape side to not only keep their unbeaten home record intact, but apply more pressure to Leopards and Thanda above them on the log. FC CT have only lost once in 5 outings in 2017 and although they are in 13th position on the log, they are 7 points clear of the relegation zone.

MTHATHA BUCKS v REAL KINGS

Just one loss in 2017 and an unbeaten home record should see Mthatha Bucks continue their challenge for honours this season when they meet the NFD rookies on Saturday.  It might not be as easy as just pitching up to the stadium though, because after losing their opening two matches of 2017, Real Kings have won two and drawn the other of their next three. Kings will be eager to win for the first time on the road this season, but Mthatha is a daunting place to visit.         

SANTOS FC v MAGESI FC

A match of enormous proportions will take place at the Athlone Stadium on Sunday afternoon when the two teams in the relegation zone meet for the second time this season. Santos have only won twice all season and have spent the last nine weeks in the relegation zone – three of those at the bottom of the log. However, the story for NFD rookies Magesi isn’t much better. The Limpopo side might be one position and a point above Santos, but they do have a worse goal difference and have spent 15 weeks in the relegation zone, 12 of which have been at the bottom of the log.

JOMO COSMOS v STELLENBOSCH FC

Another intense battle is anticipated at the Tsakane Stadium on Sunday as title chasing Cosmos and Stellenbosch FC do battle in Round 21. While Cosmos have never lost to the Cape side at home, they are 1 point and 1 position behind Stellenbosch on the log. Cosmos are unbeaten at home this season and won their Nedbank Cup match 3 – 0 against United Rovers. The Cape side might have lost to Kaizer Chiefs in the Nedbank Cup, but are unbeaten in 2017 and looking ominous.            

AMAZULU FC v WITBANK SPURS

Two sides that have shown a lot of promise this season, meet at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Sunday. Usuthu are 6th on the log, while their visitors are three places lower down on the log but only two points behind their hosts. Amazulu have lost only once in 2017 to move into the top 6, while Spurs have yet to win this year and have slipped from 3rd to 9th. The teams have played to a win, a draw and a loss in their three previous meetings.