Cape Town - They’ll be denied an early grab of the Absa Premiership trophy by PSL stipulations, but Kaizer Chiefs should have their fans dancing in the FNB Stadium aisles nevertheless on Wednesday night.
Our forecasters all envisage the Amakhosi beating mid-tablers Polokwane City, to put beyond all doubt their claims to the 2014/15 title.
Regularly during the PSL season, a panel made up of compiler Rob Houwing plus Garrin Lambley, Raymond Silinga, Earl Haupt, Wade Pretorius, Tashreeq Vardien and Maano Nekhavhambe will attempt to hit the right buttons in forecasting a bunch of the most attractive games on paper.
We will keep a season-long leaderboard showing who is prospering and which poor souls are floundering: three points for fully correct scoreline, one for right result.
Here’s our next group of spiciest picks...
1. Kaizer Chiefs v Polokwane City, Wednesday 19:30, FNB Stadium
Chiefs mastermind Stuart Baxter has been at pains to stress that City are a go-for-broke sort of team, who don’t really do half-measures and can be dangerous when luck is with them. His reasonably flattering views may have been at least partly motivated, however, by a wish to ensure his own charges guard against complacency and secure the title – with three games to spare -- by bagging all three points at home. Mind you, the first-round meeting wasn’t exactly an end-to-end humdinger; it ended 0-0. Nobody expects a repeat dose...
Rob’s tip: 2-1
2. Mamelodi Sundowns v Platinum Stars, Wednesday 19:30, Lucas Moripe Stadium
Although so near-inevitable anyway, it’s a pity Chiefs may well confirm that the title is theirs on Wednesday. That’s because next week they play currently second-placed Sundowns at Lucas Moripe Stadium, and the game might have more appeal if the silverware was still up for grabs in mathematical terms. Still, ‘Downs must keep pressing anyway to ensure at least the runners-up slot. They need also to atone for that awful last home hammering (0-5), at the hands of Bloemfontein Celtic! All but two of our panel believe they will.
3. Orlando Pirates v University of Pretoria, Friday 20:00, Orlando Stadium
The Buccaneers still have a shout at ending second to likely champions and arch-rivals Chiefs, so that knowledge ought to keep them suitably focussed to knock over their lower mid-table visitors on Friday night. These sides played out a goalless draw in Tshwane earlier in the league season, but only Maano (surprisingly, as he is Pirates-partial!) sees an exact repeat of that scoreline. Wade and Tashreeq have them winning with a bit of comfort.
56 - Earl
51 - Wade
48 - Garrin & Tashreeq
46 - Maano
44 - Raymond
42 - Rob