Friday Jan 17, 2020. 11:00
Absa Premiership leaders Kaizer Chiefs will look to take another step towards the title when they take on struggling Black Leopards as part of a full round of matches on the weekend of 17-19 January 2020.
Chiefs received a major boost in midweek when arch rivals Orlando Pirates defeated their nearest chasers, Mamelodi Sundowns, in a catch-up game to leave the Amakhosi’s lead at a solid nine points.
Ernst Middendorp’s team will have no fear of heading to Thohoyandou to face a Leopards team which has lost four games in succession and sits in the relegation zone, avoiding 16th and last place only on goals scored.
However, they will be without the influential George Maluleka due to suspension and Middendorp told his club’s official website that the midfielder will be a big miss.
“He [Maluleka] played well [against Cape Town City last weekend] and deserved his Man of the Match award. He covered enough ground and was exceptional. It’s a pity he’ll miss a trip to Black Leopards this coming weekend due to this fourth yellow.”
The other key fixture of the weekend is Sunday’s Tshwane derby between SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns. The Brazilians cannot afford another slip up if they are to keep alive in the title race, but Matsatsantsa are dangerous opponents who will be itching to repeat the success they enjoyed over ‘Downs in the MTN8 earlier this season.
The round opens on Friday night with a KwaZulu-Natal derby between Maritzburg United and AmaZulu, as well as a relegation six-pointer between Stellenbosch and Baroka FC at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town.
Saturday also sees Orlando Pirates looking to continue their rejuvenation under new coach Josef Zinnbauer when they host Highlands Park, while struggling Cape Town City will be desperate to claim all three points when they host Bidvest Wits in a night game.
Sunday’s other games see bottom-of-the-log Polokwane City at home to Golden Arrows and Bloemfontein Celtic playing at ‘home’ to Chippa United in Port Elizabeth – Phunya Sele Sele will use the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium as their home venue until renovations at the Dr Molemela Stadium are complete.
Absa Premiership weekend fixtures
Friday 17 January
Maritzburg United v AmaZulu
Stellenbosch v Baroka FC
Saturday 18 January
Black Leopards v Kaizer Chiefs
Orlando Pirates v Highlands Park
Cape Town City v Bidvest Wits
Sunday 19 January
Polokwane City v Golden Arrows
Bloemfontein Celtic v Chippa United
SuperSport United v Mamelodi Sundowns