Friday Apr 30, 2021. 09:00
A full round of fixtures in South Africa’s top-flight DStv Premiership this weekend is headlined by a heavyweight bout between Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns on Sunday 2 May, though it is the rise of AmaZulu which may continue to steal the show.
The Pirates v Sundowns match in Soweto is a key one at the top of the table, with the Brazilians looking to arrest a mini slump which has seen them take just two points from their last three matches. In fact, ‘Downs could be pushed to second place by the time they play on Sunday, with Saturday’s Durban derby between AmaZulu (second on the log) and Golden Arrows (third) offering the former team the chance to go top with a victory.
Usuthu have been in sublime form, thrashing Cape Town City 5-1 away from home in midweek to bring their unbeaten run to 15 league games, though coach Benni McCarthy wants his side to remain humble.
“This team is on the brink of making history, the first AmaZulu team to go so many games unbeaten and only getting stronger and stronger,” said the former Bafana Bafana striker.
“I am super, super proud of this team and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together. There are still six games to go. I hope we keep our focus and stay humble because just because we won today, doesn’t mean we have achieved anything as yet.”
Pirates, meanwhile, could not only blow the title race wide open by beating Sundowns, but also bring themselves back into the picture: a win would see them close to within six points of the champions with each side having six games still to play. Bucs, though, may be exhausted after a midweek trip to Nigeria which saw them lose 1-0 to Enyimba but still advance to the quarterfinals of the CAF Confederation Cup.
The weekend’s action gets underway on the evening of Friday 30 April when Maritzburg United host ‘draw kings’ Swallows FC (they have shared the spoils in 15 of their 24 league matches so far!), while a busy Saturday also sees Bloemfontein Celtic host Kaizer Chiefs, Cape Town City visit TS Galaxy, Chippa United welcome Stellenbosch FC, SuperSport will be desperate to snap a nine-game winless streak when they host Baroka FC, and bottom-of-the-log Black Leopards are away to fellow strugglers Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in a Limpopo derby.
DStv Premiership weekend fixtures
Friday 30 April
17:00: Maritzburg United v Swallows FC
Saturday 1 May
15:00: Bloemfontein Celtic v Kaizer Chiefs
15:00: TS Galaxy v Cape Town City
15:00: Golden Arrows v AmaZulu
15:00: Chippa United v Stellenbosch FC
17:00: Tshakhuma TM v Black Leopards
17:00: SuperSport United v Baroka FC
Sunday 2 May
15:00: Orlando Pirates v Mamelodi Sundowns