Cape Town - By a narrow majority, our forecasters believe AmaZulu will come up just short in their brave quest to avoid ending among the dreaded PSL bottom two on Saturday.
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 closing group of spiciest picks ...
1. AmaZulu v Maritzburg United, Saturday 15:00, Moses Mabhida Stadium
Can AmaZulu still work the miracle (that’s certainly what it looked like not many weeks ago) of staying in the top flight? They have fought like tigers recently, and expect them to retain the key devices of belief and passion when they play an enticing KZN derby against Maritzburg on the last afternoon. They must go hell for leather for all three points, and a trio of our seven tipsters fancy them to achieve that. I tip the visitors from the Midlands to grab a point, though, as they are still fighting to hold onto key eighth spot.
Rob’s tip: 1-1
2. Chippa United v Kaizer Chiefs, Saturday 15:00, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
The Amakhosi have already shown some signs that confirmation of their champions status means they’ve taken their eye off the ball a wee bit in urgency terms – they lost 2-1 at home to Wits earlier in the week. Given that Chippa are still battling to secure their own safety, the PE-based outfit will be fired-up and determined to avenge a narrow 1-0 loss in the first-round meeting. All but one of our panel – the exception yours truly, and on dismal reputation this season, not to be trusted! – nevertheless see Chiefs ending with a flourish.
3. Ajax Cape Town v Orlando Pirates, Saturday 15:00, Cape Town Stadium
I’m really not convinced, given that Ajax have a distractive eye on the later Nedbank Cup final, that the Capetonians will win this one. I have gone that route simply to be unashamedly, tactically different and try to climb off bottom spot on the tipster table. Everyone else has the Buccaneers winning, or a draw. Keep in mind that Pirates thumped Ajax 4-0 in the first-round meeting, and are still jockeying for “bronze” on the league table with Wits (they are level on points).
64 - Earl (confirmed champion!)
54 - Maano
53 - Garrin
52 - Wade & Raymond
50 - Tashreeq
44 - Rob