Friday Jan 27, 2023. 11:00
This weekend’s DStv Premiership action is topped by a high-stakes Cape derby between Stellenbosch FC and Cape Town City on Friday night.
Stellies, the hosts at the Danie Craven Stadium, will hope that the local rivalry sparks them to a higher level of performance, having failed to win any of their last nine league matches – a run which stretches back to October last year and culminated in a 1-4 thrashing at the hands of Orlando Pirates last weekend.
Coach Steve Barker is looking to get marginal gains to get his side back on track against City, who themselves have been relatively inconsistent in recent weeks (their five league results since the World Cup have been WLWDW).
“Clubs do go through these slumps, we have a really tough period in our second season. It was second season syndrome, or whatever the case was,” noted Barker.
He added, “If you look at the results, besides the Orlando Pirates game, the matches before that were very tight and very close. So it’s about us as a football club, just getting that five to 10 percent out of each and every single individual, from the CEO down to the kit manager.”
Saturday sees Mamelodi Sundowns looking to take another step toward a sixth straight title when they host Sekhukhune United, Swallows FC and SuperSport United will renew their rivalry at Dobsonville Stadium, before the night game which features Orlando Pirates chasing a third straight win when they visit strugglers Marumo Gallants.
“Players are surrounded by good people [staff], we’re trying to help them, as much as possible from a subjective perspective and [improve] professionalism and trying to help them as much as possible, before, during and after games,” said Pirates coach Jose Riveiro, with his team having netted seven times in their past two matches.
“That’s what makes us a very good team and in that sense, again, we always, it’s normal… this is a scoring game – we try to, we’re looking for goals, and this is what people enjoy the most.”
A busy Sunday afternoon features a KwaZulu-Natal derby between Richards Bay and AmaZulu; Maritzburg United chasing a fourth straight win when they face Chippa United; draw kings TS Galaxy at home to Golden Arrows; as well as heavyweights Kaizer Chiefs looking to snap their three-match losing run when they host Royal AM at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
“There is always pressure at Kaizer Chiefs – whether you are winning or losing games. But it is part of the game. I am still not going to panic,” said Amakhosi coach Arthur Zwane.
DStv Premiership weekend fixtures
Friday 27 January
19:30: Stellenbosch FC v Cape Town City
Saturday 28 January
15:30: Mamelodi Sundowns v Sekhukhune United
17:30: Swallows FC v SuperSport United
20:00: Marumo Gallants v Orlando Pirates
Sunday 29 January
15:30: Richards Bay v AmaZulu
15:30: Chippa United v Maritzburg United
17:30: Kaizer Chiefs v Royal AM
17:30: TS Galaxy v Golden Arrows