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Sunday’s PSL Joint Preview: Black Leopards face Polokwane City, Maritzburg United look to end Golden Arrows’ dominance

11:53 EAT 04/08/2019
Eric Tinkler, SuperSport United
The opening round of the PSL season concludes on Sunday afternoon with two thrilling derbies

The 2019/20 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season has kicked off on a high note and the games scheduled for Sunday afternoon are set to provide more fireworks.

Goal previews Sunday afternoon's matches where Polokwane City are out at Thohoyandou Stadium visiting Black Leopards and Golden Arrows are at home to Maritzburg United at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium.

Black Leopards v Polokwane City – 15:00 04/08/19

Lidoda Duvha gets their campaign going in front of their home crowd and they will want to secure the full three points to stake their claim as far as bragging rights are concerned.

Under former coach Dylan Kerr, Leopards wrapped up the previous season with a slender win over Cape Town City at the same venue to finish 13th on the log.

Looking at their home record, they scored 22 points at home and will want to continue doing exceptionally well in front of their die-hard supporters.

With the 2018/19 PSL returnees having beefed up the squad with a number of seasoned campaigners such as Mogakolodi Ngele and Thabo Matlaba, the new coach Lionel Soccoia will look to overcome Rise and Shine.

Looking at the visitors, Polokwane City have shocked many when they managed a top-five finish on the log to qualify for the MTN8 Cup.

Under ex-coach Jozef Vukusic, Rise and Shine could not have a bright finish to last season, when they succumbed to a 3-0 loss at Orlando Stadium to runner-sup Orlando Pirates.

However, their fifth-place finish means they can continue where they left off this season, but a clash in Venda is set to be a challenge.

Just like their hosts, the club has made a number of changes especially in the technical bench, where Zlatko Krmpotic has been roped in, but it’s not clear if he will be on the touchline.

Rise and Shine claimed 22 points away from home, but losing a key player in Sammy Seabi to Mamelodi Sundowns could dent their superiority in the heart of the park.

Golden Arrows v Maritzburg United - 15:00 04/08/19

Turning focus to the KwaZulu-Natal province where another provincial derby takes the centre stage, Abafana Bes’thende will target a win.

Coach Steve Komphela’s troops have done well in pre-season after participating in a number of tournament and could be touted as favourites to win this one.

Abafana Bes’thende secured a 10th-place finish last term and will want to do well early in the season to ensure they reach the Wafa Wafa qualification spot.

Despite finishing their season with a 1-0 loss at home to Bidvest Wits, Arrows accumulated 21 points from 15 home games.

Looking at their previous matches, Arrows are dominant when it comes to head-to-head statistics - they have 12 wins out of 24 league meetings with the Team of Choice winning five and seven matches ended in stalemates.

For the Team of Choice, coach Eric Tinkler has assembled a solid team to ensure they do not find themselves fighting relegation this term.

The former Bafana Bafana midfielder did an exceptional job to save the club from heading to the National First Division (NFD), after drawing 1-1 against Baroka in their final match, they reached the play-offs and claimed three wins.

Despite losing influential campaigners such as Sihpesihle Ndlovu and Fortune Makaringe, Maritzburg has signed experienced players in the form of Daylon Claasen, Phumlani Ntshangase, and Judas Moseamedi.

With the odds against them when it comes to stats, Tinkler will look to end Arrows' dominance and also hope to do well on the road.

Match Number Fixture Date Venue Kick-off Time TV channel
1 Black Leopards vs. Polokwane City 04/08 Thohoyandou Stadium 15:00 TBC
2 Golden Arrows vs. Maritzburg united 04/08 Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium 15:00 SS7