Both local and international football will be on our screens this weekend as Arsenal seek to move up into the third position on the English Premier League log standings. The home side, West Ham might be high in confidence after beating Birmingham in the FA Cup, however, the Gunners are favourites going into this match.
On the local scene in Mzansi, AmaZulu host Highlands Park at King Zwelethini stadium. Usuthu might have dropped points last weekend against Polokwane City, however, the Durban-based side has been in good form under the mentorship of coach Cavin Johnson. While the Lions of the North go into the match knowing that a win could see them in the Top 8.
Former AmaZulu midfielder, Nhlanhla Zwane gets in on the matches and gives us his predictions. Do you agree with his choices?
West Ham v Arsenal (English Premier League)
Match 1 Soccer 6 Pool 12 January S6V3P1
League Rankings: West Ham 10th & Arsenal 5th
Useful facts: Arsenal’s quest to get to the third position as quickly as possible, before perhaps dreaming of going higher depending on what happens with the top two, is on. They face a West Ham side that is high on confidence after their win over Birmingham in the FA Cup. Whether they will repeat such a feat against a quality and free-scoring Gunners side, remains to be seen, although it must be said the visitors are the favourites to walk away with a victory. It’s hard to see West Ham stopping a side that has scored 46 goals in 21 games, while they (West Ham) have scored 29 from the same number of matches.
Nhlanhla Zwane: Draw
AmaZulu v Highlands Park (Premier Soccer League)
Match 4 Soccer 6 Pool 12 January S6 V3 P1
League Rankings: AmaZulu 11th & Highlands Park 9th
Useful facts: AmaZulu have been on a great run, only for Polokwane City to put an end to that run when they beat Usuthu 3-2 last Saturday, so uppermost on Cavin Johnson’s mind against Highlands Park will be to be on the winning side. The Lions of the North, though, are on an uphill battle in every sense of the term. They have in their midst the league’s leading goalscorer at the time of writing, Mothobi Mvala, who missed the 2-2 draw against Orlando Pirates last weekend due to suspension. The Tembisa-based side will be motivated by the prospect of moving into the Top Eight should they win against AmaZulu. There’s all to play for!
Nhlanhla Zwane: AmaZulu win
Girona v Alaves (La Liga)
Match 25 Soccer 6 Pool 12 January S6 V3 P1
League Rankings: Girona 9th & Alaves 4th
Useful facts: That Alaves sit just above Real Madrid in the league standings proves how hard they’ve worked so far this season, and Girona may have to dig deep to come away with a positive result. Girona have not done that badly, truth be told – it is just their many draws that sees them sitting where they are on the log. They have scored 20 goals in 18 games, while their opponents have scored 21 from the same number of games – yet they sit five positions apart! Matches between the two teams are known to always be tight affairs and the last time they met, in the second leg of the Copa del Rey Last 32 in December, Girona won 2-1.
Nhlanhla Zwane: Draw