Top 5 upcoming sporting events of the weekend

By Neo Poho

This weekend the DSTV Premiership continues with some exciting encounters as the two Soweto giants take on SuperSport United and Maritzburg United respectively while Barcelona welcome Real Madrid in the El Clasico and the Proteas continue their battle with West Indies.

1.Pirates take aim at SuperSport United with the second spot up for grabs

SuperSport United player heading the ball away from Orlando Pirates players

Orlando Pirates will continue their rivalry with SuperSport United in the DSTV Premiership on Saturday night as the two sides battle each other in what has been described as the clash of the weekend in DSTV Premiership.

Pirates head into the match after winning 2-1 in the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup last weekend defeating Venda Football Academy at the Orlando Stadium while SuperSport have not been in action since the 5th of March 2023.

Pirates chasing the second spot in the league will look to the ever consistent Monnapule Saleng to help them get the much needed three points in a bid to stay within touching distance of second placed United.

Saleng's prolific form has seen him get the nod from Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos as the Bafana mentor selected Saleng in his Afcon qualifiers squad against Liberia on the 24th of March and 28th of March respectively.

Meanwhile Gavin Hunt's SuperSport head into the clash sitting comfortably on the second spot with 39 points after 22 matches.

With Matsatsantsa a Pitori having enjoyed some good run in the league so far, much credit has been given to the academy players that have been introduced into the senior team and have actually been part of Hunt's first team core.

Despite losing 6 matches and drawing 5 in the DSTV Premiership campaign, SuperSport is the only team still with a chance of dethroning Mamelodi Sundowns from the number one spot however, they will need a miracle to achieve that feat as Sundowns are 20 points clear with 8 more matches remaining.

Kick-off at the Orlando Stadium is at 17:45.

2.Amakhosi travel to KZN for a date with Maritzburg United

Kaizer Chiefs players during the Nedbank Cup last 32 against Maritzburg United

Kaizer Chiefs will lock horns with Maritzburg United at the Harry Gwala Stadium for the third time this season after their first meeting in the league in September last year at FNB Stadium saw Chiefs come out victorious with a convincing 3-0 win.

The second meeting between the sides was in February during the Nedbank Cup round of 32 match at the Harry Gwala Stadium, where Amakhosi won 2-0 courtesy of goals by Christian Saile and Ashley Du Preez.

Speaking of Saile, Amakhosi will be happy to welcome the striker back in the fold after serving a one match suspension against Casric Stars in the Nedbank Cup last 16.

Saile has been a marvel to watch since joining the Glamour Boys providing some depth in front for Arthur Zwane and co. 

Despite Saile returning to the team, Amakhosi will be without on-form defender Siyabonga Ngezana due to suspension, Ngezana received his fourth booking of the season on Sunday against Casric Stars in the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup but that will not be much of a problem for Zwane as Austin Dube is available for selection.

Zwane's charges will be aiming to make it a treble of wins over the Team of Choice on Saturday and move up the DStv log table where they currently sit in fourth position, with 34 points after 22 matches while Maritzburg also need the three points to move out of the relegation zone.

Kick-off at the Harry Gwala is at 20:00.

3.Barcelona welcome Real Madrid in the latest edition of the El Clasico

Vinicius Jnr. and Jules Kounde during the El Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu

The latest edition of the El Clasico will take place at Camp Nou on Sunday night as Barcelona welcome fellow title contenders Real Madrid looking to stretch their lead at the top of La Liga to 12 points.

In a match that could have great repercussions over the title race between the two sides, Real Madrid will look to do the double over their rivals after winning the reverse fixture last year in October 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Madrid are fresh from their UEFA Champions League triumph over Liverpool on Wednesday night eliminating the English side in the last 16 of the competition.

Although Madrid have advanced to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Carlo Ancelotti's men will be without defender David Alaba.

Alaba picked up an injury in the first leg of the tie against Liverpool at Anfield and he has not returned to action since.

Meanwhile Barcelona midfield maestro Frenkie de Jong has admitted the El Clasico is one of the biggest clashes in the history of football that he is happy to be part of.

Speaking ahead of the encounter De Jong said, "I think the El Clasico is the most important game for Barca fans and also for all the players, it can often play an important role in deciding who wins the La Liga title."

De Jong who has grown into a critical member of Barcelona's squad will look to help his team  get the much needed three points on Sunday to provide some breathing space between them and Madrid.

4.The Proteas and West Indies set their focus on the second ODI

Temba Bavuma of the Proteas and West Indies’ Shai Hope

After the first ODI between South Africa and the West Indies at Buffalo Park in East London on Thursday was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to persistent rain, the teams will hope the weather will clear out on Saturday as the teams meet again for the second ODI.

Ahead of the ODI series, the Proteas have made some forced changes to their squad with Wiaan Mulder and left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj having been dropped from the squad that assembled for the limited overs series on Monday due to injuries.

Mulder was replaced Wayne Parnell while Maharaj who has a complete rupture of his left Achilles tendon was replaced by Tabraiz Shamsi.

Should the series eventually get underway on Saturday, the Proteas will be aiming to continue where they left off in the Test series, winning the series 2-0 against the Carribean side.

5.Round 2 of the Currie Cup is on the horizon

Sharks players celebrating a try against The Griffons

The Golden Lions will travel to Mbombela Stadium on Friday night to take on the Pumas in round 2 of the Currie Cup looking to get a victory after losing their opening match last week to the Western Province.

Upon the defeat, Lions forwards coach Wessel Roux said, "It was a tough start to the competition, we would have loved to started with a win but it wasn't to be, we made mistakes which allowed Western Province to score points against us but it's still early in the competition and we will get it right."

In another mouth-watering clash the Blue Bulls will welcome Western Province at Loftus Versfeld Stadium while the Griffons hosts the Free State Cheetahs at the North Harbour Stadium and the Griquas will battle with Natal Sharks at Windhoek Draught Park.

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