Ian Malcolm introduces South African football fans to this week’s matches
All players on international duty will be released back to their clubs on Wednesday, where they will then turn their attention back to the weekend’s Absa Premiership action.
Moroka Swallows host University of Pretoria at the Dobsonville Stadium on Friday night, with the newly-promoted AmaTuks yet to be defeated so far this campaign. Swallows will be without leading scorer Siyabonga Nomvete though after he injured ligaments in his foot in their last league outing against Orlando Pirates.
That same evening there will be a meeting between two more unbeaten sides. Maritzburg United entertain Free State Stars at the Harry Gwala Stadium. Both teams have two wins and a draw from their opening three games.
Orlando Pirates travel to Platinum Stars on Saturday afternoon without a win, or even a goal, in their last four matches in all competitions. Their problems have been compounded by the hamstring injury for leading scorer Benni McCarthy that leaves them light in attack.
Stars showed in their opening day 3-1 win over Moroka Swallows that they will be no pushovers in their stronghold of Phokeng and another defeat here could spell the end for Buccaneers coach Augusto Palacios.
Later that evening table-topping Kaizer Chiefs entertain Black Leopards at Soccer City in a game they would expect to win. However, with so many players on international duty, crossing timezones, and so little time to prepare, Leopards might think this is a good time to meet the AmaKhosi.
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Johan Neeskens will be pleased to be playing Lamontville Golden Arrows away from home in Durban on Saturday, away from the fans who were calling for his head after the 2-1 loss to Maritzburg United last time out.
Golden Arrows have been dreadful so far this season but tend to raise their game for the big occasion and will know that Sundowns are a side low on confidence and possibly ripe for the picking.
Then on Saturday, SuperSport United entertain AmaZulu at ‘home’ in the Limpopo province as they take another game to the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Matsatsantsa have started the season with three draws so far and coach Gavin Hunt has admitted his side need a striker to boost their scoring woes that has seen them net just once in 270 minutes of league football. Still, that’s better than Usuthu, who have scored a single goal and conceded eight in that time.
Ajax Cape Town travel to Bloemfontein Celtic on Sunday. This is a game between two sides that looked vulnerable at the back this season. Ajax’s quality going forward is undisputed, but they have not managed to keep a clean-sheet in 18 matches dating back to last season.
And finally, Chippa United will be hoping to build on their point last time out at Black Leopards when they play host to improving BidVest Wits at the Athlone Stadium on Sunday.