Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer
Cape Town – The top two clubs, Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns, are likely to strengthen their holds on their positions in latest respective Absa Premiership assignments, say 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 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. Wits v Orlando Pirates, Tuesday 19:30, Bidvest Stadium
The home side have lost a bit of ground in recent weeks, though they’re still one of the tougher nuts to crack in the PSL ... especially at their claustrophobic venue. It should be very tight again, and although nobody sees Wits actually downing the Sea Robbers – who won the first-round clash courtesy of a late Siyabonga Sangweni strike – our predictions reflect the likely closeness of a match pitting fourth (Wits) against third on the log.
Rob’s tip: 0-0
2. University of Pretoria v Kaizer Chiefs, Tuesday 19:30, Tuks Stadium
We are inching ever closer to that time when it will be mathematically impossible for anyone to haul the Amakhosi in. But it hasn’t quite reached that point, so everyone will keep throwing the kitchen sink at trying to derail the glamour club. Expect AmaTuks to be no different, as they seek to improve on their lower mid-table mediocrity with a late charge. Still, a full house of our tipsters sees Chiefs doing the business, in a repeat of their win in the first clash (2-1 back in September).
3. Mamelodi Sundowns v Bloemfontein Celtic, Wednesday 19:30, Lucas Moripe Stadium
At the very worst, defending champions ‘Downs appear to have decided that the runner-up slot is a feasible call for them. They should entrench their hold on that berth when they entertain Celtic, and nobody here differs from that view. The Bloemfontein outfit, however, have improved markedly on the table in recent weeks, rising to fifth as we speak, so their chances of a successful raid cannot be summarily dismissed ...
53 - Earl
48 - Wade
47 - Garrin & Tashreeq
43 - Maano & Raymond
41 - Rob