DURBAN – Brace yourselves for a footy bonanza this weekend and, in fact, for the next two weeks.
The English Premiership doesn’t take a break, and there’s some Mzansi teams playing their final games of 2018.
Starting local, we have 10 teams in action this weekend, including izolo – where I suspect Wits have won by snacking on some Chippa United.
Vandag, we have the league’s headliner first up, which is the Durban derby between AmaZulu and Lamontville Golden Arrows out of King Zwelithini Stadium, uMlazi.
The visitors, affectionately known as ‘Abafana Besthende’, are coming into this match in a somewhat rich vein of form, having beaten and drawn with Chiefs and Wits respectively in the past couple of weeks.
On the other hand, we have the team known as Usuthu who are fresh off a loss made in Thohoyandou.
I do like the look of the home team at ‘King’, as their coach Cavin Johnson affectionately refers to the stadium named after iSilo, who will surely have an eye on this one.
AmaZulu are holding the current coach and player of the month awards, and we hope they bank on their latest good fortune.
My suspicions are that both teams should score, and a likely draw may be on the cards.
For the sake of not riding the barb wire, I am leaning towards a win for Usuthu, making it a 2 or 3-1 score... oooh weee, that’s brave, says the Sangoma himself.
#WozaNazo: The KZN derby between @AmaZuluFootball and @goldenarrowsfc1 has the potential to be one of the biggest local rivalries, says Cavin Johnson. Six fans will be chosen to ⚽️ against an #AbsaPrem goalie in a sudden death competition. Click👇🏿https://t.co/YqNb96yiMv— IOL Sport (@IOLsport) December 18, 2018
Vele it’s also an emotional call in the name of Siyabonga Nomvethe, besimbonga ngo1999, sambonga futhi edlalela iBafana Bafana and Siyabonga for your contribution to the Zulu nation and Usuthu more especially!
In other less interesting pap and wors, we have Benni’s City team at posie to Bloem Celtic and Maritzburg hosting Baroka.
Both these match-ups leave a lot to be desired and have teams that are dawdling in the bottom half of the table. So perhaps the less said here, the better.
If forced to take a dip here, I’d go for value and bet the away teams to have a double chance of win/draw. The last match up ka Sondag is between Highlands and SuperSport, a Gauteng duel per se.
These two teams are three points and three positions apart on the league table, quite astonishing. I see under 3.5 goals here, and a possible away win for the broadcaster’s team.
Then we move right along to some serious footy, mate, from the United Kingdom. Let us start with the big news of the week, whereby a certain Portuguese maestro has taken a permanent vacay from the mighty Manchester United.
Jose was suddenly shown the door this week, after a defeat to Klopp. If I’m not mistaken, the very same Jurgen Klopp may have been the same man at the root of his demise when he was at the Spanish outfit Real Madrid.
Do correct me if I am wrong, but I think Klopp was with ZeGerman club Dortmund at the time.
On that note, let’s start with the Red Devils, who have already picked their interim caretaker manager for the rest of the season in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The hero of Nou Camp ’99 has been received warmly, by the sounds of it.
One is eager to see how the players respond, though I suspect they may play out of their boots for their Norwegian brother – or young uncle in this case.
United are playing away in Wales to Cardiff, a team Ole had a stint at in 2014, where he was launched when appointed to try and save the Welsh outfit from relegation. That ended in tears.
I like the Norwegian as umdlali (a player) and the verdict is still out on his management skills, but from the little I’ve heard of his last/current club (depending), he does seem to possess some management skills, and isn’t short of passion for United, I tell you.
So one wishes him well on this venture, vele he still has his ex-employer keeping the job open for him to fall back on, so there is nothing to lose here.
I call United by two or more goals here, even on their current Jose form-ation.
Everton have two points from their last four games and haven’t beaten Spurs in six years.
We've scored some terrific goals against The Toffees. 🔥— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 21, 2018
Watch five of the best on @Dugout 👇
Tottenham should win this game at a canter, my friends. Then there is Burnley, who need to turn their good performances into wins and points now. They have to get the reward of points soon, surely?
This weekend, even though away to the Gunners, could not have caught the London club at a better time.
The Arsenal went a record 22 games without a defeat, and in the last week, they have had back-to-back defeats.
Burnley are a tough nut to crack, but that is usually when they are playing at home. I call the Gooners to come right and get back to winning ways this weekend.
Chelsea take on Leicester at Stamford Bridge, and the home team should walk this one.
Look out for the bout between Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora, in a rematch worth the gate fees at O2 Arena – even in Mandela notes for them pounds.
It should be a cracker you may have to stream, thanks to our dear useless friends at (not so) SuperSport.
The WIFI usage may be worth it this time, folks. If the promoter Eddie Hearn hasn’t bought the referee, then Boxing Day might just come before Santa this year! Unfortunately, Delboy Chisora will need a knockout to win here – and he may well get it!
Christmas Bones yabaleka! I’m out, like the Joburgers by the sea!@shabsgunner
Independent on Saturday