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Saturday's PSL action Preview: The Students seek redemption against the Buccaneers

9:30 AM WAT 23/09/2017
Gabadinhno Mhango of Bidvest Wits challenged by Happy Jele of Orlando Pirates
The Students go in search of their first PSL win, while Bakgaga, Amakhosi and Usuthu look to build on their wins in midweek

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) resumes on Saturday with several mouth-watering encounters to look forward to.

In the day’s early kick-off, Baroka FC will look to continue their unbeaten run when they host an unpredictable Ajax Cape Town at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane City. The unfancied Bakgaga currently find themselves lurking in uncharted waters as they are second on the PSL table.

Nonetheless, Baroka could be in for a test on Saturday afternoon as the Urban Warriors secured their first victory of the season in midweek after they impressively dispatched of Baroka’s neighbours Polokwane City. But with an attack consisting of the likes of an in-form Gift Motupa, Baroka will fancy their chances in a clash which promises excitement galore.

In arguably the pick of the day’s action, the defending champions Bidvest Wits will be eager to register their first win of the season when Orlando Pirates make the short journey to Braamfontein on Saturday evening. It has not been an impressive start for the Students, and after suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of AmaZulu on Wednesday, the pressure is firmly on Wits and their coach Gavin Hunt to stop the rut.

However, it doesn’t get any easier for the Clever Boys as they lock horns with a resurgent Pirates. The Buccaneers are currently third on the log, and under Serbian Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic they have developed into a formidable outfit, having registered three wins and two draws in their campaign so far.

Micho has been getting the best out of his players, and although his choice of utilising Thabo Matlaba as a defensive midfielder has raised some eye brows, it has proven effective. Ahead of the clash, Micho isn’t expected to make too many changes unlike his Wits counterpart who is expected to make several. Hunt is still searching for his preferred XI and with the suspension of Nazeer Allie, the former SuperSport United coach will be forced to tinker with his side once again.

Meanwhile, staying in Johannesburg, Kaizer Chiefs will host log leaders Golden Arrows in a top of the table clash at 20:00 PM. Following a relatively slow start to the 2017/2018 season, Chiefs are beginning to show signs of what they are capable off and after defeating the highflying Maritzburg United in their last outing, they will be brimming with confidence.

Worryingly though for Chiefs is the fact that despite the Glamour Boys’ victories they have relied immensely on goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune’s man of the match performances, and Chiefs’ defence is expected to be tested even further against Abafana Bes’thende. Coach Clinton Larsen has a formidable attack at his disposal with the likes of Kudakwashe Mahachi kicking into gear. Larsen has found an effective balance of youth and experience and after stealing victory at the death against Platinum Stars on Wednesday, they will favour their chances come match day.

Chiefs on the other hand have showed that they are improving under Steve Komphela, playing an attractive brand of football, and veteran playmaker Siphiwe Tshabalala will surely be one to watch at the FNB Stadium along with Venezuelan Gustavo Paez, who comes into the games fresh off a confidence boosting brace against Team of Choice in midweek.

Lastly, AmaZulu will be need to shift their focus after their sensational victory over Wits as Usuthu welcome a struggling Dikwena to Durban. AmaZulu players are looking like they are finally buying into coach Cavin Johnson’s philosophy and on Saturday night they will be raring to go as they plot their way up the PSL ladder.

But it should be noted that Stars will be desperate for a positive result especially after they were edged out by Arrows in the week, and the recently appointed Roger De Sa will be hoping for an improved performance this time around.   

Nevertheless, the Rustenburg-based outfit have proven to be poor travellers of recent times, having suffered defeat in all of their away games thus far and come Saturday, a baptism of fire awaits with the likes of AmaZulu’s Rhulani Manzini in red-hot form. One notable, absentee for AmaZulu on the night will be Michael Morton after he was sent off following an altercation in midweek.