Football returns to Pietermaritzburg again as Maritzburg United host SuperSport United in a league encounter today.
Friday 27 November 2020
Maritzburg v SSU
The now famous Friday night lights will sadly be without fans, but the beleaguered Maritzburg team will be relieved to be back in familiar surroundings on their favorite day of the week. Maritzburg are currently on a run of seven consecutive losses in all competitions, their worst losing run in their PSL history, but another Friday night could be the perfect antidote to their ills.
20 – Maritzburg are unbeaten in 20 league games played at Harry Gwala stadium on a Friday night, a record going back to September 2017 (Won 13 Drew 7).
Be that as it may, SuperSport themselves are on a run of four successive away losses, their worst away run since 2014 and only the second time in the 30-game PSL era that they have lost 4+ league games in a row.
5 – A fifth successive away loss would set a new record for Matsatsantsa’s worst run away from home in a single PSL season.
SuperSport have lost one in ten league games against Maritzburg in the last five seasons, and will be looking to continue that good form.
Saturday 28 November 2020
Orlando Pirates v Baroka
One of the country’s form sides, Orlando Pirates host Baroka on Saturday. The Buccaneers will be hoping to keep the momentum ahead of their MTN8 Cup final in two week’s time. It’s been almost two years since they faced Baroka in the Telkom Knockout final, which they lost on penalties, extending their trophyless run. Pirates are yet to avenge that defeat, having drawn each of their last 3 games against Baroka since then.
6 – Since Baroka were promoted in 2016/17, six meetings between the two sides have ended in a draw. No fixture has ended in a draw on more occasions in that time.
It is now a well-known fact that no side has scored more than one goal in a league game against Pirates since Josef Zinnbauer took over at the club (Played 21). To make matters worse for Baroka, they have never witnessed any of their own players score more than once in a league game against Pirates – the only time they scored more than once included an own goal. Can the in-form Richard Mbulu help change that record?
TS Galaxy v Golden Arrows
TS Galaxy host Golden Arrows also on Saturday. The two sides have met once before in the 2019 Nedbank Cup, with TS Galaxy progressing on their way to lifting the title. The Rockets have conceded just one goal in their four top-flight games so far, but need to start scoring if they are to build on that aforementioned defensive resolve. In Golden Arrows, they host a side who have won one away game this year, and two since the start of last season. With trips to Mamelodi Sundowns and Cape Town City scheduled before the end of the year, this could be Galaxy’s best opportunity to get some goals (and points) on the board.
1 – Arrows have kept just one clean sheet in 12 away matches in the league since 27 November 2019 , exactly one year ago.
Mamelodi Sundowns v Stellenbosch
Sundowns are starting to find an ominous rhythm early in the title race and could return to the top of the table if they avoid defeat to Stellenbosch on Saturday. Ten points from the opening four league games is their best start to a league season since 2011/12. A hat-trick from Themba Zwane was the highlight of last weekend, while Peter Shalulile scored his 2nd goal for his new club as well. The last meeting between the sides was a close affair, with Sundowns edging out a 1-0 win in the last league game played with fans in March this year.
No side has scored more league goals than Sundowns at home this year (27) but their opponents, meanwhile, have kept just 3 away clean sheets since their promotion last season.
0 – Stellenbosch have not kept a clean sheet away from home this year, and are one of only two sides that have conceded a goal in every away match played in 2020.
AmaZulu v Cape Town City
Cape Town City struggled away from home last season. They were the only side not to win away from home before the lockdown, and their only “away” victories came in the bio-bubble. Their poor record in KZN is encompassed by only one win in four years there, but things have started to change in the last three months:
2 – Having failed to win any of their first 10 away matches in KZN, Cape Town City have now won each of their last two away games to KZN opposition.
Yet, those two wins were only against Maritzburg and Golden Arrows. City have lost three of the three away games at AmaZulu since Usuthu were last promoted in 2017/18, their worst 100% record against any club in the top division.
Sunday 28 November 2020
Chippa v Tshakhuma
The last match of the weekend is on Sunday, where Chippa host Tshakuma Tsha Madzivhandila in Port Elizabeth.
TTM secured their first ever three points with a last minute win against Baroka last time out, but will need to be at their sharpest when they travel to Chippa. Seven clean sheets in 11 home matches for The Chilli Boys may not really shout “Fortress!”, but it suggests a defensive solidity when hosting.
3 – Since the start of 2019 (almost two years now), only three sides Pirates, Chiefs and Cape Town City (all once) have scored more than one goal in an away game at Chippa.
By Opta Jabu