The DSTV Premiership action comes thick and fast with another full set of fixtures set to be played this weekend. The Soweto Derby kick-starts the weekend with the FNB Stadium set to be fully packed. Bragging rights are also on the line in Cape Town as Stellenbosch hosts a resurgent Cape Town Spurs. Runaway log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns are at home to the Chilli Boys, who have never defeated them in the league. 

Here is a preview of some selected matches:

Orlando Pirates vs Kaizer Chiefs | Saturday | 15:30

The game of the weekend pits Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates in the 180th instalment of the Soweto Derby. Chiefs’ forward Wandile Duba has promised fireworks while Olisa Ndah has played down that assertion.

We have been treated to lackluster goalless draws and a few odd 1-0 victories in this fixture before, but the significance of this tie might just call for an entertaining game after all. The Sea Robbers won the reverse fixture 1-0 in November, ending a run of five games without a win in the most celebrated fixture in the country. Pirates are placed in 5th position, one point ahead of Chiefs who are in 6th place. A win for either side may result in a new team moving into second place on the log, temporarily of course. 

The Buccaneers have enjoyed a fairly improved start to the new year, getting a draw at Sundowns despite being 10-men down for most of the second-half. They picked up four points in their following two matches, scoring a solitary goal in each match. 

The Glamour Boys recorded a morale-boosting 1-0 win on Tuesday ahead of their clash with fierce rivals. Chiefs’ goalscoring troubling have followed them to the new year, as they have found the net just once in four outings in all competitions thus far. Although they are still undefeated in the league this year, the Glamour Boys have displayed some torrid, boring football and have failed to create clear-cut chances for their forward line. 

Chiefs have kept three clean sheets in a row, picking five points in the process. While Pirates have conceded in two of the three league matches they’ve played so far. Both teams are having trouble scoring and this tie might suggest a boring affair despite the fanfare. Add Pirates on the Double Chance. 

Prediction: Orlando Pirates/Draw

Moroka Swallows vs Sekhukhune United | Saturday | 17:30 

In-form Sekhukhune travel to Dobsonville Stadium with the hope of claiming their fourth successive league win of 2024. Meanwhile, the Dube Birds are yet to taste victory in three league outings this year. 

Under the tutelage of Musa Nyatama, Swallows have managed two draws and a defeat, whilst also eliminating second-tier side Platinum City Rovers on penalties in the Nedbank Cup. Swallows have showed defensive stability during their winless run, managing to concede just two goals with a newly-assembled backline. 

The visitors come into this fixture on the back of three successive wins against KZN sides Richards Bay, Golden Arrows and Royal AM. Babina Noko have produced eye-catching displays across all formats as they earned two commendable goalless draws in the CAF Confederations Cup playing RS Berkane and Diables Noirs. Lehlogonolo Seema seems to have found the spark that his predecessor Brandon Truter argued was missing in the squad or perhaps the experience of competing in the Confed is now on display. 

Babina Noko have scored five goals in three league games whilst conceding a solitary goal. The return of captain Linda Mntambo and the continued form of Elias Mokwana have been significant in the blistering start made by Sekhukhune. The Birds, however seem to be playing without purpose, a notion that Nyatama rejected after the draw at AmaZulu. 

Prediction: Draw/Sekhukhune United 

Stellenbosch vs Cape Town Spurs | Saturday | 17:30 |

A resurgent Cape Town Spurs visit the Danie Craven Stadium with the hope of continuing their improved league form against city rivals Stellenbosch. 

Spurs came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday and have collected seven points from a possible nine in their last three league games. Ernst Middendorp’s young side have also been impressive infront of goal, as they have found the back of the net six times since the turn of the year. The improved form has reduced the gap to Richards Bay to just two points in the relegation chop. 

Stellenbosch are also yet to be defeated this year but the goals have dried up. Steve Barker’s side have scored three goals in three games, whilst keeping one clean sheet. The five points earned during this run has seen them move to 2nd position but a neutral may start to believe that Stellies are vulnerable and should lose anytime soon if they meet a stronger opposition. 

Bragging rights are on the line and a win for either side will help in their different quest. Stellies are fighting for the league, although that assertion is not public knowledge. Spurs are still looking to move up on the table. This will be an entertaining game and I expect goals from both sides. 

Prediction: Both Teams To Score

Mamelodi Sundowns vs Chippa United | Saturday | 20:00 | 

It is Chippa United’s turn to try and stop Mamelodi Sundowns’ juggernaut this time around as the two teams meet at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday night. 

Rulani Mokwena’s charges secured a deserved 2-0 victory in the reverse fixture in August and look likely to repeat the trick at home. Sundowns have opened an 11-point gap at the summit of the log standings despite having three games in hand. The Brazilians will be fresh for this encounter, as their clash with Galaxy was postponed plus their injury list is lessening, giving Rulani a headache when it comes to selecting the starting XI. 

10th placed Chippa have shown improvement since Thabo September and Kwanele Kopo took over the reigns. The Chilli Boys are unbeaten since the turn of the year, collecting five valuable points in three league matches. Three goals and a clean sheet in their previous win over Richards Bay will have the Chilli Boys beaming in confidence ahead of facing Sundowns who they have never beaten in the league before. 

Sundowns’ unbeaten run is on course to be extended in Lucas Moripe although the visitors are yet to be defeated this year. The domination and flair to be produced will suffocate the Chilli Boys who will have to hope for a draw in the Capital.

Prediction: Straight Win

Richards Bay vs TS Galaxy | Saturday | 20:00 |

Richards Bay Coach Vusumuzi Vilakazi confidently stated that his charges will avoid relegation ahead of their 3-0 loss to Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium this week. The confidence in his statement didn’t reflect on the pitch as his side were chasing shadows in the whole game. However, the Rich Boys have the chance to make amends when they host TS Galaxy on Saturday.

The Rich Boys are under great pressure of dropping into the bottom with Cape Town Spurs closing in to just two points in the relegation battle. Bay have conceded eight goals in a three match losing run since the league’s resumption. Vilakazi’s side has scored just two goals during that run, leaving them eight points behind Moroka Swallows in the automatic survival spot. Another loss against a fancied Galaxy could see the Urban Warriors move into their spot. 

Galaxy will be fresh for the Rich Boys after their eagerly anticipated match against Sundowns was postponed. The Rockets fell to a surprise 2-0 defeat at the hands of Spurs on Sunday, a defeat that was not welcomed by coach Sead Ramovic. Eight-placed Galaxy have a poor record on the road, keeping just one clean in six previous games in all competitions.

Galaxy are undefeated in three previous league fixtures against the Rich Boys, winning one and recording two stalemates and the odds favour for that run to continue at King Zwelithini Stadium. 

Prediction: TS Galaxy Win

Polokwane City vs Golden Arrows | Saturday | 15:30 | 

Losing 11 consecutive league games on the bounce, Golden Arrows have run to the experienced Steve Komphela for help in arresting the slump. The first assignment for Komphela and his men is a trip to the Limpopo capital to face Polokwane City. 

The hosts have resumed the season with two defeats and a win across all formats and will surely relish facing a winless Arrows who are shipping in goals and also toothless in attack. Rise and Shine have three points in their last two games, and their form has declined since the departure of then head coach Lehlogonolo Seema. Polokwane have scored are yet to register a goal at home this year and should aim to break that duck against Arrows. 

Abafana Bes’thende lost 1-0 in their midweek game against Kaizer Chiefs, extending their historic losing run to 11 games in all competitions. Arrows have failed to score in their two league games, and have barely created chances in those defeats. The away side have conceded 21 goals in the 11-match winless run, leaving them stuck on 12th position on the log. This will be Steve Komphela’s second stint at the club, and may look start his homecoming by returning the club to winning ways. 

Arrows are vulnerable at the back and any team can carve out their defense with, that’s the big problem Komphela has to fix. Rise and Shine weathered the storm against Orlando Pirates even though they lost eventually. I don’t see Arrows finding the net here, there is no cohesion in their play and I don’t see Komphela finding the formula in his first game. 

Prediction: Polokwane City/Draw