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South Africans Abroad Preview: League season begins for Dikgacoi and Pienaar

South Africans Abroad Preview: League season begins for Dikgacoi and Pienaar


The 2013-2014 English Premier League season begins this weekend, with Kagisho Dikgacoi and Steven Pienaar expected to make appearances for Crystal Palace and Everton

A host of South African overseas-based players will take to the pitch this weekend, with the main highlight being the start the 2013-2014 English Premier League season.

Steven Pienaar is likely to start for Everton, when the Toffees begin their latest Premier League campaign away to Norwich City. It will be Roberto Martinez's first competitive game in charge of Everton and the former Wigan Athletic coach will aim for a positive start. 

Newly-promoted Crystal Palace may hand Kagisho Dikgacoi a start in their first fixture, a baptism of fire against Tottenham Hotspur in North London. Dikgacoi was a vital part of the Eagle's midfield in the Championship last season and it remains to be seen if the sturdy midfielder is in Ian Holloway's plans for Premier League survival.

Staying in England, Bongani Khumalo should be in action for Doncaster Rovers when his side plays Blackburn Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium on Friday night, while Dean Furman may only have a small role in the match after only returning to England recently from international duty.

In League One, Kgosi Nthle will hope to continue his good form for Peterborough United, when they play Oldham Athletic on Sunday.

On the continent, Kamohelo Mokotjo will be joined by South African midfielder Miguel Diaz at PEC Zwolle, after the 17-year-old was scouted by the club. He will play for the under-19 side. In first team action, the in-form Mokotjo should continue in his midfield role when his side face NEC in the Eredivisie on Sunday.

Thulani Serero continues to warm the bench for Ajax Amsterdam, but will still hope to make an appearance when the defending Eredivisie champions play bitter rivals Feyenoord on Sunday.

In Belgium, it remains to be seen if Anele Ngcongca will start for Genk when they play Ayanda Patosi's Lokeren in the PRO League on Sunday. The full-back was not released for international duty, with the club citing an injury as the reason behind his withdrawal.

Darren Keet will hope for an improved performance for Kortjik, after the keeper let in three goals in his previous match. Keet will start against Sporting Charleroi on Saturday.

In the Swedish top-flight, Tokelo Rantie should play a part in Malmo's Allsvenskan clash against Kalmar on Sunday despite the striker's participation in South Africa's friendly international against Nigeria on Wednesday. Helsingborg's May Mahlangu is still recovering from injury.

Staying in Sweden, the second division should see Bradley Ralani and Ayanda Nkili in action for their clubs Landskrona and Orebro.

Finally to Slovakia, where Ricardo Nunes' Zilina will play Spartak Trnava in a Slovakian league meeting on Saturday.