Absa Premiership midweek preview: Baroka face a test of their mettle

Absa Premiership midweek preview: Baroka face a test of their mettle
Letladi Madubanya of Baroka FC is challenged by Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns during the Absa Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Baroka FC on 10 May 2017 at Lucas Moripe Stadium © Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Nov 21, 2017. 11:00

Surprise Absa Premiership leaders Baroka FC will face a test of their mettle when they battle Cape Town City tonight in the first of seven midweek league fixtures in South Africa.

Baroka have been the surprise package of the top fight thus far, holding a two-point lead at the head of the table over a chasing pack of three clubs: Golden Arrows, Cape Town City and Bloemfontein Celtic.

Benni McCarthy’s City will view the chance to leapfrog to the top of the log - temporarily at least - as all the motivation they need to build on the 1-0 win they claimed over Free State Stars prior to the international break.

The pick of Tuesday’s matches sees Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns - the two teams which battled for the title last season - looking to revive their respective campaigns.

While the Clever Boys have won just two of nine league matches, ‘Downs have seen less action due to their African commitments earlier in the season and at least know that winning all of their games in hand would propel them to the top of the log. In further bad news for hosts Wits, the Brazilians have a 100 percent away record this season.

Tuesday’s action is wrapped up by Orlando Pirates hosting Golden Arrows. The Buccaneers have yet to really get out of second gear this season, but coach Milutin Sredojevic will hope the visit of one of the league’s top-ranked teams brings the best out of his charges.

Moving onto Wednesday, the focus will fall on Kaizer Chiefs, who have a potentially tricky game away to AmaZulu. The Soweto giants suffered a dispiriting loss in the semifinals of the Telkom Knockout this past weekend and are in need of a lift against Usuthu.

TKO finalists Bloemfontein Celtic will look to keep up their momentum when they face bottom-of-the-log Platinum Stars away, Free State Stars will welcome Chippa United to Bethlehem for an early kick-off, and the meeting of Maritzburg United and Polokwane City sees two teams looking to rise back into the middle region of the log after slumps in their respective form.

The scheduled match between SuperSport United and Ajax Cape Town was postponed due to the former’s participation in the ongoing CAF Confederation Cup final.

Absa Premiership midweek fixtures
All times 19h30 CAT unless otherwise stated

Tuesday 21 November
Cape Town City v Baroka FC - 18h00 CAT
Bidvest Wits v Mamelodi Sundowns
Orlando Pirates v Golden Arrows

Wednesday 22 November
Free State Stars v Chippa United - 18h00 CAT
Platinum Stars v Bloemfontein Celtic
AmaZulu v Kaizer Chiefs
Polokwane City v Maritzburg United



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