NFD: Weekend Preview
All matches are scheduled to kick off at 15H00.
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Moroka Swallows (16th) v Highlands Park (2nd) – Dobsonville Stadium
The Birds secured a crucial win down in the Mother City last weekend against FC Cape Town, a morale-boosting victory which gave the club a fighting chance at avoiding relegation. But the Johannesburg-based outfit are still six points shy of 14th placed Mthatha Bucks, and face a Highlands Park side gunning for the title. Highlands Park have four wins and a draw from their last five matches and are only two points behind log leaders Baroka FC.
Witbank Spurs (3rd) v Mbombela United (6th) – Puma Rugby Stadium
With two defeats, a draw and only one win from their last four matches, Spurs find themselves in danger of slipping out of the top three. Mbombela, who are in sixth spot, four points off the play-off positions, have drawn four of their last five games and also need a victory to reignite their ambitions; this one promises to be a tension-filled encounter.
African Warriors (15th) v Cape Town All Stars (7th) – Charles Mopeli Stadium
Three consecutive defeats have plummeted Warriors into the drop zone, the Free State side now four points adrift of safety. All Stars meanwhile are five games without a win, and are looking for a first victory under new coach Professor Ngubane after he debuted with a 1-1 draw against Royal Eagles last Saturday.
Vasco Da Gama (13th) v Baroka FC (1st) – Parow Park
Vasco’s 2-0 derby win over Santos last weekend was a crucial one, giving them a five point cushion over the drop zone, rather than just two points. Baroka meanwhile dropped two late points against Mbombela United and will be determined to keep their automatic promotion hopes on track with victory out in Parow.
Milano United (4th) v FC Cape Town (10th) – Athlone Stadium
Milano’s run of nine wins in 10 games was dented last weekend with a 3-0 reverse away to Mthatha Bucks. Still just a point off the play-offs, the Kinnes will be hoping for a derby victory against an FC Cape Town side smarting from last week’s home defeat to Swallows.
Royal Eagles (5th) v AmaZulu (8th) – Harry Gwala Stadium
AmaZulu play their second consecutive KZN derby and will be hoping for improved fortunes after losing 2-1 to Thanda last weekend. Eagles meanwhile conceded a soft goal right at the death against All Stars that turned three points into one, the club still just three points off a play-off spot.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
Black Leopards (9th) v Mthatha Bucks (14th) – Thohoyandou Stadium
Lidoda Duvha scored a much needed 2-1 victory over African Warriors last weekend to end a run of seven games without a win in the NFD. Bucks meanwhile are unbeaten in seven, and come into this game with their tails up after last week’s 3-0 victory over Milano.
Thanda Royal Zulu FC (12th) v Santos (11th) – Umhlathuze Sports Complex
Two former PSL clubs meet in Richards Bay, Thanda approaching the game with a much needed win which lifted them six points clear of the drop zone. Santos, above Thanda on goal difference, will be hoping to bounce back after last weekend’s derby defeat to Vasco.
BAROKA FC: DINEO SHAKU, THERISO MAPHETO
BLACK LEOPARDS: IVAN MAHANGWAHAYA
F.C. CAPE TOWN: LUCKY NGUZANA, VINCENT KHUMALO
MBOMBELA UNITED: HOWARD DHLADHLA
MILANO UNITED: MORNE DAVIDS, NASIEF MORRIS, TAARIQ FIELIES
MOROKA SWALLOWS: FELIX OBADA, JOSTA DLADLA
MTHATHA BUCKS: SIBUSISO HLUBI
ROYAL EAGLES: ZUKILE MKHIZE
SANTOS: TYREN ARENDSE
THANDA ROYAL ZULU: CHRISTOPH KOMANE, SIPHO BHENGU
VASCO DA GAMA: JARROD MOROOLE