Sunday’s fixtures will see Baroka FC looking to end their dismal run when they come up against SuperSport United, while fireworks are expected in the KwaZulu-Natal Derby between Golden Arrows and provincial rivals Maritzburg United.
Baroka FC vs SuperSport United
Baroka FC will be seeking redemption when they tackle SuperSport United in a PSL encounter at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday.
Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele have had a torrid run in recent times which has seen them experience a winless streak of four matches and slip from the PSL summit to eighth place.
Kgoloko Thobejane’s charges are fresh from a 3-0 thumping by Maritzburg United last weekend and also lost the game prior to that which was a 4-0 drubbing by league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.
The Limpopo-based outfit also failed to pick up a win against Platinum Stars and could only settle for a 2-2 draw, conceding a whopping nine goals in just three outings.
Baroka were confirmed as PSL Q-Innovation 1 winners with 16 points after winning four matches and drawing the same number of games without tasting defeat. They received R1.5 million for their efforts and will use this as motivation in order to get back to winning ways.
They have collected 19 points from 14 matches and could see themselves in the top three should they overcome SuperSport and results from other games favour them.
The last time Baroka won a match was back in September when they beat Kaizer Chiefs 2-1, but things have since taken a downward spiral for the team that posed themselves as serious title contenders very early in the season.
Thobejane is expected to have a full-strength squad at his disposal when they take on SuperSport and hopes that Gift Motupa can find his goalscoring boots and help his side collect maximum points at home.
Matsatsantsa are playing catch up and go into this tie after suffering a narrow 1-0 defeat to Free State Stars, propelling them to a run of three matches without registering a win.
Eric Tinkler’s men sit in 11th position with 15 points but have only played nine matches, which means they will have to win all their matches in hand in order to be able to be on par with the leading pack and challenge for league honours.
The Tshwane side had a good run in the Caf Confederation Cup and reached the final.
However, it seems as though fatigue is starting to take its toll on the players, coupled with injuries to key squad members like Ronwen Williams.
Jeremy Brockie has struggled for form in recent weeks, but Aubrey Modiba has bagged four league goals this season for SuperSport and he's the club’s leading goalscorer in the league.
Goalkeeper coach Andre Arendse has been suspended for the match which means he will be watching the tie from the stands.
The two sides have only met on three occasions in all competitions in the past. Baroka took four points off SuperSport in the league last season when they played to a 1-1 draw in Limpopo before narrowly beating Matsatsantsa 1-0 in the reverse fixture.
Golden Arrows vs Maritzburg United
A provincial derby in KwaZulu-Natal will see Golden Arrows and Maritzburg United lock horns at the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu on Sunday.
Abafana Bes’thende have lost three of their last five matches and were beaten 1-0 by Mamelodi Sundowns in their last match, but they will be hoping to an end a run of nine league matches without a win when they take on Maritzburg.
Clinton Larsen’s men sit in 10th position with 17 points from 14 matches and could see themselves in the top four should they come away with bragging rights on derby day and other results do not affect them.
Despite their latest struggles, Arrows will hope for another win over another KZN rival after their last home win on their own turf which was a 4-1 thrashing of AmaZulu back in mid-September.
Young attacker Siphelele Magubane has become the most talked about player at the club with his consistent runs and eye for goal. The 24-year-old has found the back of the net twice in his last three matches and will be looking to be among the goals on Sunday.
Larsen has been dealt a blow with news that midfielder Andile Fikizolo faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a broken shin bone. The attacker is likely to be out for three months after undergoing surgery recently.
The Team of Choice head into this tie on the back of a 1-0 defeat to the Brazilians, bringing their winning run of two matches to an end.
Fadlu Davids and his men picked up two big wins when they thrashed Cape Town City 4-2 and Bakgaga 3-0 in the lead up to their trip to Tshwane.
Maritzburg currently occupy ninth position with 17 points from 13 games, and could also be in the top four should they win and results in other ties go in their favour.
Zimbabwean marksman Evans Rusike has rediscovered his scoring form and hit the back of the net twice in the win over Baroka, a performance he will once again look to build on and increase on his tally of four league goals so far this season.
Davids will be forced into making one change in defence after Siyanda Xulu received his fourth booking of the season in the match against Sundowns, with Denis Weidlich likely to be called upon.
In head-to-head record since the 2005/06 season, Arrows and Maritzburg have met in 20 league matches. Abafana Bes’thende hold the upper hand with 10 wins to Maritzburg’s five, while five other ties ended draws.
Last season, Larsen’s team took four points off Maritzburg, drawing 2-2 away in the first round, before a 1-0 home win in the reverse fixture.