|On target for Chiefs last week: Majoro|
It's a massive weekend for football here and abroad. In South Africa, Kaizer Chiefs must attempt to resume their all-conquering Q1 form at Maritzburg United tonight while lowly AmaZulu go to Orlando on Sunday hoping to plunder the Pirates in a battle of the jolly Rogers.
In Cape Town tomorrow, coachless Ajax are out to halt the Johan Neeskens revival at Mamelodi Sundowns which actually resulted in a Telkom KO goal against AmaTuks during the week, the Msandawana's first strike since Noah began boat-building.
In England, the two European crisis clubs are in action tomorrow. Arsenal must end their slump against rock-bottom QPR and Manchester City simply have to overcome Swansea. The Merseyside derby and Chelsea v Manchester United suggest a Super Sunday lies in wait.
And just to prove I do notice La Liga, I can't see Barcelona producing anything less than a rampant win at Rayo Vallecano on Saturday night at 10pm South African time but Real Madrid, beaten by Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League this weekend, may stutter again when they go to the holiday island of Mallorca on Sunday night at 9.30pm.
My predictions for the weekend’s fixtures below, with a line of explanation:
Maritzburg United 2-2 Kaizer Chiefs
Maritzburg is no longer an easy trip, not even for the table-topping Amakhosi
SuperSport United 0-1 Bidvest Wits
Gavin Hunt’s bus may not deny the big-spending, new-look Clever Boys
Platinum Stars 0-1 Free State Stars
A meeting of Stars eclipsed by Steve Komphela’s travellers from Bethlehem
Ajax Cape Town 1-3 Mamelodi Sundowns
Still without a coach, Ajax may struggle to stop Neeskens’ Msandawana revival
Golden Arrows 2-0 Chippa United
Former Chippa boss Manqoba Mngqithi is back to fire the Arrows
Moroka Swallows 2-1 Black Leopards
Birds should swoop in a week over-shadowed by Sunday Chidzambga’s life-ban
Bloemfontein Celtic 0-0 University of Pretoria
Steve Barker’s early charge appears to be stuttering, Celtic blooming
Orlando Pirates 3-1 AmaZulu
Jolly Roger de Sa takes on Rogered Palmgren. Only one result.
Aston Villa 0-1 Norwich (1:45pm South African time)
Coming off the back of their victory over the Gunners, Canaries are flying
Arsenal 3-1 QPR (4pm)
Arsene Wenger simply cannot leave the Emirates pointless tomorrow night. Can he?
Reading 1-1 Fulham (4pm)
Defeat for relegation-threatened Reading unthinkable at home
Stoke 2-1 Sunderland (4pm)
After the draw with Newcastle, Sunderland may not relish a trip to Potteries
Wigan 0-2 West Ham (4pm)
Sam Allardyce’s promoted Hammers secure their place in the top half
Man City 3-0 Swansea (6.30pm)
Roberto Mancini’s under enough pressure, time for the millionaires to perform
Everton 1-3 Liverpool (2.30pm)
Liverpool show no Mersey in their bid to catch the arch-rivals
Newcastle 2-2 West Brom (4pm)
Toon in tune in Europe this week, but Baggies are a stubborn bunch
Southampton 0-2 Tottenham (4pm)
After the 4-1 surrender against the Hammers, Saints in trouble against Spurs
Chelsea 3-2 Man Utd (5pm)
THE BIG ONE: got to be a Blue day, despite Champions League failure this week