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Varsity Football

Preview: Varsity Football, Round Seven

The battle to reach the final four has reached its conclusion as five teams remain in contention to fill the final three available spots.

TUT have already secured top spot and a home semifinal after going unbeaten in the six rounds that have already been played. They bagged victories over Wits, UP-Tuks, Fort Hare, NWU-Mafikeng and CUT while the only time they dropped points was a draw against UJ.

That leaves CUT, Tuks, NWU-Mafikeng, UJ and UWC to fight it out for the remaining spots, although the journey to the next round will be easier for some.

NOTE: The postponed game between Wits and NWU-Mafikeng will take place on Thursday, September 1 and could have a dramatic impact on the final placings.

We look at all Monday's action!

UWC v TUT

(UWC Stadium, Kick-off: 16.30)

TUT may have wrapped up top spot and could opt to give their fringe players a run. However, coach Bushy Moloi may just decide to field his strongest team as this match comes down to one thing - revenge.

The Pretoria students lost to UWC in the 2015 Final and will have that on their mind. The equation is simple for UWC - win at all costs. Nothing less than victory will do for the defending champions to keep their hopes of reaching the playoffs.

Three points for the home side will keep them in the running but they will face a nervy wait as they require other results to go their way.

Prediction: UWC has to give it their all and will be buoyed by their home crowd. TUT will seek revenge, although, it depends on which side they field. UWC could spoil TUT's perfect run by the odd goal.

Fort Hare v UJ

(Davidson Stadium, Kick-off: 18.30)

Fort Hare head into their final match of their debut season having already been knocked out of the competition. However, they will be a dangerous team as they are playing for pride. A positive result for the home side would also see them spoil UJ's chances of reaching the playoffs.

The Johannesburg side will be eyeing maximum points as Fort Hare has leaked points in all but one of their matches. Victory for UJ could see them reach the semifinals for the second time, however, some other results would need to go their way.

Prediction: Fort Hare will be a threat on attack and could expose the weaknesses in UJ's defence. With so much to play for, UJ should claim a two-goal win.

Wits v UP-Tuks

(Wits Stadium, Kick-off: 18.30)

Tuks find themselves in the same situation as UJ. Nothing less than victory will do for them while they would also need other results to go their way to secure their spot. The one thing they do have in their favour though is a superior goal difference to any side in the competition.

Wits are in the same boat as Fort Hare. They too have no chance of reaching the semifinals and are playing for pride. They have been a far cry from what everyone expected, after making the semifinal stage in 2015. Victory for them would throw the cat among the pigeons.

Prediction: Pride is a dangerous thing and with less pressure on them, Wits can go out and enjoy the moment. Tuks would be under pressure to produce another victory after round six' result. However, the Pretoria side has the experience to ensure victory by at least two goals.

CUT v NWU-Mafikeng

(CUT Stadium, Kick-off: 19.00)

This is probably the big match of the round as both teams have everything to play for and a lot more to lose.

CUT have been the surprise package this season and have consistently found themselves in second place on the standings. However, their recent loss to TUT has thrown a massive spanner in the works. Should they suffer a defeat in this encounter and UP-Tuks and UJ bag wins in their matches, CUT would drop to fourth place.

That then leaves them just one point of NWU-Mafikeng, who have a game in hand. So this encounter is of utmost importance for them.

The equation for Mafikeng is simple - nothing less than victory will do.

Prediction: The CUT crowd will play a massive part in getting behind their boys, however, NWU are no strangers to big crowds. Both teams will have plenty to gain and even more to lose. With so much on the line, this contest could end in an exciting draw.

Thursday, September 1

Wits v NWU-Mafikeng

(Wits Stadium, Kick-off: 18.00)

Wits' final match of the season could see them grant fringe players the chance to gain some experience at this level while they could also give their final year students one last swan song to send them off with a bang.

Depending on Monday night's result, NWU could still be in contention to not only secure a spot in the semifinals but also ensure that they are the hosts - as two positive results, with CUT tripping up, would see them leap into second place.

Prediction: Wits have been more cold than hot this season and would like to end with a bang. NWU could still be in contention for a semifinal spot, should Monday's result go their way. If NWU is still in contention, they should claim a comfortable win by at least two goals.

 

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