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Big weekend looming for South Africans in Belgium

South African youngster Ayanda Patosi must put the disappointment of missing out on a Bafana Bafana call-up behind him as his Belgian side Lokeren tackle Standard Liege on Friday night.

Patosi has arguably been the form South African player this season, but the 20-year-old has yet to get a look-in with new Bafana coach Gordon Igesund, who has given opportunities to players who have achieved far less.

Igesund did hint that Patosi could be called-up for the proposed Bafana international on December 22, but with Lokeren playing against Kortrijk the day before, it seems unlikely his club will release him.

Patosi has scored in his last three games for Lokeren, who could move within a point of surprise leaders Zulte-Waregem with a win.

Also in the early running for the title race are Darren Keet’s Kortrijk and the goalkeeper will expect his side to win at OH Leuven on Saturday. Anele Ngcongca’s Genk, who are just three points off the pace, are at Mons on Sunday.

It is another busy weekend for South Africans in England, with a full programme of fixtures.

Steven Pienaar takes on Sunderland, a side he has fond memories of having netted in a 7-1 victory over the Black Cats in 2007. He has never been on the losing side again them , but will be looking for an improved performance on his below-par display in the 2-2 draw at Fulham last weekend.

Andrew Surman will be hoping for a return to the Norwich City squad for the visit to Reading on Saturday.

In the Championship, Kagisho Dikgacoi’s Crystal Palace sit proudly on top of the division, continuing a run of 12 games without defeat, which includes nine victories.

He will come up against compatriot Kgosi Ntlhe on Saturday as The Eagles visit lowly Peterborough United.

In League One, Dean Furman’s Oldham Athletic slipped back towards the relegation zone on Tuesday with a 2-1 home loss to Bury. The Bafana midfielder was again on the bench, a fall from grace for the club captain.
 
Bafana skipper Bongani Khumalo will hope his PAOK side can close the gap on Olympiakos at the top of the Greek league when they host Platanias, while Siyanda Xulu could make a return from a thigh injury for Russian Premier League outfit FC Rostov at home to Amkar Perm on Friday night.

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