by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – AFTER a lengthy recess caused by the league cup tournament and the international fixtures, the Absa Premiership, Africa’s most lucrative league, resumes this weekend with favourites Mamelodi Sundowns eager to enhance their position atop the standings.
After booking their place in the Nedbank Cup semifinals, the Pretoria side will be back in action away to seventh-placed Baroka FC, who are also determined to finish in the top eight for the first time in their brief history in the elite league.
The 15h00 hours kickoff at the Peter Mokaba Stadium is among six matches set for this weekend as the league resumes after a break emanating from the Nedbank Cup and the FIFA fixtures.
Aside from their 0-1 Nedbank Cup loss to Kaizer Chifes this past weekend, Baroka are enjoying their best spell in the league and will depend on the likes of Talent Chawapiwa and Richard Matloga for inspiration against Downs.
On the other hand, Sundowns, who have one-point lead and one game advantage against second-placed Orlando Pirates, have the marauding Percy Tau and Khama Billiat to secure maximum points.
Their on form captain Hlompho Kekana, overlapping right back Thapelo Morena and goalkeeper Dennis Onyango are also key Sundowns hopes of snatching the title back from Bidvest Wits.
Elsewhere, fifth-positioned Chiefs host Chippa United at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.
The match kicks off at 15h00.
The Soweto giants are bubbling of confidence following weekend’s Nedbank Cup success.
Amakhosi will again look to veteran players Simphiwe Tshabalala, Willard Katsande, Itumeleng Khune and Eric Mathoho to gain crucial points.
Fourth-placed Free State Stars travel to Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday for an encounter against Golden Arrows. Stars have also booked a berth in the Nedbank Cup semis, alongside third-placed Maritzburg United, who host Cape Town City at Harry Gwala Stadium in KwaZulu-Natal also on Saturday.
Bloemfontein Celtic and AmaZulu FC battle at Dr Molemela Stadium in the Free Stateto round off the weekend’s proceedings.
FULL WEEKEND FIXTURES:
SATURDAY, 7th April 2018
Golden Arrows vs Free State Stars (Princess Magogo Stadium, 15:00)
Kaizer Chiefs vs. Chippa United (FNB, 15:00)
Maritzburg United vs Cape Town City (Harry Gwala Stadium , 29:15)
Platinum Stars vs Polokwane City (Royal Bafokeng, 2015)
SUNDAY, 8th April 2018
Baroka FC vs Mamelodi Sundowns (Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:00)
Bloemfontein Celtic Vs AmaZulu FC (Dr Molemela Stadium, 15:00) .
– CAJ News