NFD : Weekend preview
The chasing pack will be hoping for a slip up from Baroka FC this weekend, while down at the bottom of the NFD standings, just seven points separate six clubs.
All matches kick off at 15H30.
Friday, February 12, 2016
Santos (10th) v Highlands Park (3rd) – Athlone Stadium
Last week’s 4-0 drubbing of Cape Town All Stars, a first win this year, was just what the doctor ordered for Santos as the Peoples’ Team look to kick into gear in 2016. Highlands Park meanwhile are a team on a mission, the Gauteng side currently in third spot on the standings after three wins and two draws since the league restarted.
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Moroka Swallows (16th) v Mthatha Bucks (15th) – Dobsonville Stadium
In terms of survival, this is the most important clash of the weekend and should make for an intriguing if somewhat tense encounter between the two sides occupying the relegation zone. Bucks beat Swallows 1-0 in Mthatha in a first round affair. While the NFD rookies have won one, drawn two and lost two of their five games this year, the Birds have taken only one point from their last five matches. This a big six-pointer for both teams.
Witbank Spurs (2nd) v Milano United (4th) – Puma Rugby Stadium
This should be another thriller, between two teams that have shown great determination to challenge for a promotion play-off spot. While Spurs have won their last three matches, Milano have been in blistering form, winning all five matches in 2016 to move level with third place Highlands Park, behind only on goal difference.
Thanda Royal Zulu FC (12th) v Black Leopards (9th) – Umhlathuze Sports Complex
It has been a forgettable year for Thanda so far after the KZN side managed just one point in five matches since the restart to the season. Leopards are unbeaten in 2016, but have only twice converted one point into three in 2016.
Vasco Da Gama (11th) v Cape Town All Stars (7th) – Parow Park
Vasco, with just one win this year, are only six points above the drop zone, and are yet to string together a consistent run of form this season. All Stars have lost three consecutive matches which has cost them their top three place, and head coach Ian Taylor his job.
Sunday, February 14, 2016
Baroka FC v FC Cape Town – Old Peter Mokaba Stadium
Royal Eagles (5th) v African Warriors – Harry Gwala Stadium
Back to back wins over Thanda and Swallows have taken Eagles back into promotion contention, the KZN side behind third placed Highlands Park only on goal difference. Warriors have slumped to third last on the table, having earned only one point this year.
Mbombela United v AmaZulu – Kanyamazane Stadium
This should be another fantastic NFD match-up. Mbombela continue to exceed expectations, just a point off the play-off places. The Mpumalanga side however will feel they are due a win, following four consecutive draws. AmaZulu meanwhile will be hoping for a return to winning ways after their three match winning streak was interrupted by a 0-0 draw with lowly Mthatha Bucks last weekend.
PLAYERS ON SUSPENSIONS
MARC VAN HEERDEN – AMAZULU
ARNOLD ANOMA – F.C. CAPE TOWN
MOTHOBI MVALA – HIGHLANDS PARK
ZOLANI NKOMBELO – MBOMBELA UNITED
BRANDON THERON, EBRAHIM SEEDAT – MILANO UNITED
REPO MALEPE – MOROKA SWALLOWS
THABISO MOKOENA – MTHATHA BUCKS
KABELO MAHLASELA, SIYANDA S’PHEPHELO NGUBO – ROYAL EAGLES
NZUZO LUTHULI – THANDA ROYAL ZULU
THABO MAKHELE – WITBANK SPURS