Cape Town - Our experts offer every result possibility - little help to readers, sorry! - for Saturday’s maiden Absa Premiership clash of 2014/15 between arch-rivals Orlando Pirates (nominally the home side) and Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium.
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 wretched souls are floundering: three points for wholly correct scoreline, one for right result.
Here’s our next group of spiciest picks...
1. Free State Stars v Bloemfontein Celtic, Wednesday 18:00, Charles Mopeli Stadium
The Free State derby is always a vibrant, colourful affair even if the protagonists are experiencing contrasting fortunes - and alas for Stars, they are the poorer cousins in log terms at present as three losses on the trot have pushed them down to second from bottom. That said, eighth-placed Celtic are a bit goal-shy at present, having netted once in their own last three clashes and coming off a 1-0 reverse to Ajax Cape Town in the Mother City. That’s mainly why I see two currently uncertain sides sharing the spoils in a feisty scrap.
Rob’s tip: 1-1
2. Wits v Kaizer Chiefs, Wednesday 19:30, Bidvest Stadium
The quaintly claustrophobic confines of the Bidvest Stadium hint at another possible banana peel match for still-runaway PSL leaders Chiefs. But of course they will still command majority support at the venue and I am sure Stuart Baxter will have drilled into his charges’ heads the importance of not thinking too far ahead to the big Soweto sizzler on Saturday. Without great conviction, I tip Chiefs to just about see off the host outfit in a quality contest, even though the students are on a two-game winning habit...
3 Mamelodi Sundowns v SuperSport United, Wednesday 19:30, Lucas Moripe Stadium
These two usually heavyweight clubs continue to find themselves rather too erratic, as reflected by mid-table sort of status respectively, for their supporters’ liking, and it’s already going to take some doing for Sundowns, the defending champions, to make up the 13 points (albeit with a game in hand) needed to draw level with leaders the Amakhosi. A low-scoring sort of draw is heaviest fancy from our panel, though I believe home environment will aid a narrow ‘Downs triumph.
4. Orlando Pirates v Kaizer Chiefs, Saturday 15:30, FNB Stadium
The first league encounter of the season between the Soweto juggernauts is just about upon us! These teams all too often fight out a cagey stalemate in this fixture ... so unsurprisingly it is a fairly popular pick again. Remember also that both sides come off goalless draws last time out in the league, so that additionally hardly points to a goal-laden thriller. Some might say the Buccaneers will be advantaged by having played on Tuesday to Chiefs’ Wednesday in midweek fare; maybe that’s how always Pirates-partial Maano justifies his 1-0 selection? He is, however, backed in that view by Tashreeq...
30 - Wade
25 - Tashreeq & Earl
24 - Maano
23 - Ray
22 - Garrin
20 - Rob