Things are heating up in the National First Division, both at the summit, and at the foot of the table as the halfway point of the season fast approaches.
All matches kick off at 15h30
Friday, January 15, 2016
Cape Town All Stars (3rd) v Thanda Royal Zulu FC (11th) – Athlone Stadium
Third-placed All Stars kick off the weekend’s action at home to Thanda on Friday afternoon with Ian Taylor eager to record his second win as new Igugu Lekapa Head Coach. Taylor’s side put their recent scoring drought behind them to dismantle Witbank Spurs 3-0 on the road last time out while Thanda, with one win and two losses in their last three, come into this match on the back of a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Highlands Park.
Black Leopards (9th) v Royal Eagles (5th) – Thohoyandou Stadium
A win, a loss, and a draw from their last three ties perfectly illustrates the season Lidoda Duvha are having. And while Royal Eagles are seven points and four places better off with half the losses of Leopards this term (3), they too come into this match with an indifferent run of form. Eagles with their positive goals for column – 23 goals from 14 games – will be tested though as they face a Leopards side that doesn’t tend to concede easily.
FC Cape Town (16th) v Witbank Spurs (4th) – NNK Rugby Stadium
With just two wins all season it is hard to see just how FC Cape Town will turn their things around. New Head Coach Johnny Ferreira claimed a vital point at home before the break, before a testing 3-1 loss to Royal Eagles last time out. The African Beasts will need to make their home ground a difficult place to play for the remainder of the season if the club are to avoid the drop. And they well could be facing the high-flying Spurs side at the right time following their 3-0 loss to All Stars last weekend.
Highlands Park (6th) v Baroka FC (1st) – Makhulong Stadium
A win for Highlands Park over the NFD league leaders will take them to within four points of the top of the table. And while Baroka have been pretty formidable all season, their recent 1-1 draw with FC Cape Town away from home will give the Lions of the North some real hope of claiming at least a point from this one. They come into this match on the back of a good 3-0 win over Thanda Royal Zulu.
Sunday, January 17, 2016
AmaZulu (8th) v Vasco Da Gama (12th) – Princess Magogo Stadium
AmaZulu will have to put their two losses to top-side Baroka FC and second-placed Mbombela United behind them as they look to return to the form that has seen them claim some notable scalps this season.
In Vasco they face a side struggling for form and consistency, who themselves most recently came unstuck against the impressive Mbombela. Between the two sides they have recorded eleven draws, scored just 26 goals and conceded 30 – which suggests there is not a lot between these two teams.
Milano United AFC (7th) v Moroka Swallows (14th) – Athlone Stadium
If recent stats are anything to go by then Swallows will be on the end of another defeat this weekend. Drawn matches have preceded losses for Swallows this term and with the former Premier Soccer League side having drawn 1-1 with Black Leopards in their last encounter, Milano will surely have the mental edge over their visitors to Athlone Stadium this weekend. The Cape side, with four wins and two losses from their previous six outings, will be desperate to pull away from the chasing pack at this half-way stage in the season.
Mbombela United (2nd) v Santos (10th) – Kanyamazane Stadium
Mbombela United are unbeaten in their last five NFD games and with league leaders Baroka just edging them at the top of the standings, the surprise title contenders for this season will eye their home clash with Santos as a must-win.
The People’s Team’s form looked to be improving following a tough start to the season, but recent losses to Mthatha Bucks and Highlands Park has them pegged back in 10th place – ten points behind their hosts this weekend.
Mthatha Bucks (15th) v African Warriors (13th) – Mthatha Stadium
Mthatha Bucks got themselves off the bottom of the table with wins over Moroka Swallows and Santos and will be eager to keep that run of form going against another struggling side in African Warriors. Renewed belief under new boss Velile Dyaloyi has seemingly transformed the team while Warriors, who drew with Royal Eagles before losing 1-0 to Milano United, and remain in potential relegation trouble themselves.