Good fix following the off-season lull

2012-08-11 20:14

Today’s football fixtures offer a mouthwatering prospect of what die-hard fans might expect from the season ahead, both locally as well as in all the major international leagues

Soccer addicts are in for a good fix today following the off-season lull as the English Premiership kicks off the 2012/13 campaign with the traditional Community Shield. Kick-off is at 2.30pm.

In the German Bundesliga, it is the German Super Cup while the Absa Premiership will set the pace with two matches.

The match between English champs ManchesterCity and FA Cup and European champions Chelsea will not be played at its usual venue, Wembley Stadium, but at Villa Park in Birmingham.

In Germany, the Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund take on Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in Munich tonight.

Last season, City lost the season opener to rivals Manchester United but had the last laugh when they won the Premiership in the final minutes of the season. Dortmund had the better of Bayern in the league and cup competitions, including a 5-2 thrashing in the German Cup final.

At home, Absa Premiership newcomers University of Pretoria (Tuks) start their campaign against Maritzburg United at Tuks Sports ground
in Pretoria.

Steve Barker’s charges will get a taste of what to expect in top flight football after dominating the National First Division last season.

Tuks are reinforced with the likes of Vincent Kobola and Dipsy Selolwane bolstering the team.

A victory for them on their PSL debut would go a long way to setting up their season.

In United, they come up against a side that has made rigorous changes by bringing in many new players.

Former Bafana Bafana winger Delron Buckley could make his debut for the club on home soil.

Another player who is out to impress is former Tukkies midfielder Mthokosizi Yende, who is on loan from Kaizer Chiefs.

After failing to live up to expectations at Chiefs, Yende will get a chance to redeem himself at United and what a way this will be to start, against his former club.

Another interesting clash is at Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace, where Platinum Stars welcome last season’s surprise package Moroka Swallows.

Stars will want to avoid last season’s hiccups as they had to dig deep in their last few games to avoid relegation.

Hopefully it was a good lesson learnt and after being given the job full time, Calvin Johnson has a point to prove to any doubters that he really deserves it.

Dube Birds’ new coach Zeca Marques has big shoes to fill after stepping in to replace Gordon Igesund, who moved to coaching Bafana Bafana.

Under Igesund, Swallows challenged for the league honours until the last seconds of the campaign when they were pipped by Orlando Pirates.

Marques knows the challenges lying ahead.

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