Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns, seeking to secure the runner-up spot in the PSL race this season, may not have things entirely their own way at SuperSport United, reckon our forecasters.
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 attempts to hit the right buttons in forecasting a bunch of the most attractive games on paper.
We 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 Wits, Wednesday 19:30, FNB Stadium
The title is safely – very safely – in the bag, so when the Amakhosi entertain Wits, expect their focus, either consciously or subconsciously, to be exactly that ... entertainment. It is for that reason that I have a feeling the visitors may boast a tad more urgency on the night and perhaps be capable of stealing at least a point. Although they only have a long-shot chance now of soaring to a second-placed finish from current fourth, Gavin Hunt’s charges will stick to that hope! But few of my colleagues agree with me, largely backing a Chiefs victory; they did win the first-round encounter without any special trouble, 3-0.
Rob’s tip: 1-1
2. SuperSport United v Mamelodi Sundowns, Wednesday 19:30, Lucas Moripe Stadium
You have to say that deposed champs ‘Downs look set fair for the runner-up spot: they are three points clear of third-placed Orlando Pirates with just two rounds to go, and currently boasting a marginally better goal difference (one) than the Buccaneers as well. But keep in mind that SuperSport could potentially improve their own position of seventh by up to two rungs if they can end the season strongly (and either, or both, of Bloemfontein Celtic and Ajax Cape Town don’t). Sundowns won 3-1 last time they met in the league, but as many as five of us on the panel fancy a hard-fought stalemate here.
3. Maritzburg United v Orlando Pirates, Wednesday 19:30, Harry Gwala Stadium
I admit it: I am fairly desperate. Marooned at the bottom of the tipster ladder, my only chance of a very late-season charge is to turn “creative” in the quest to haul in a couple of other strugglers. That’s primarily why I have gone for the slight upset here, suggesting Maritzburg will complete a season double over Pirates – after all, they did beat them 2-1 away back in early December. But everybody else sticks to the “orthodox” in suggesting the Soweto club will do enough to secure all three points at Harry Gwala ...
64 - Earl
54 - Maano
52 - Wade
50 - Garrin & Tashreeq
49 - Raymond
44 - Rob