Usuthu’s first five games back

AmaZulu players warming up

With domestic football currently on hold due to the ongoing 2022 World Cup, we look ahead to what lies in store for AmaZulu when the 2022-23 DStv Premiership season resumes.

Romain Folz’s men will be back in competitive action on New Year’s eve, 31 December, when they take on hosts Sekhukhune United at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

Usuthu will be chasing a first win against Babina Noko, with the teams’ two league meetings last season bringing a 2-0 home win for United in October 2021 and a 0-0 draw in the return game in Durban in May of this year.

A derby clash against upstarts Royal AM at the Chatsworth Stadium on 8 January is next up for AmaZulu. The KwaZulu-Natal sides played out tense 0-0 draws in their two matches last season, with Usuthu looking to assert their status as the established premier club in the region, while Thwihli Thwahla have been eager to make a name for themselves as a rising force in the Premiership.

AmaZulu then begin a stretch of three straight home games at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, starting off with a glamour tie against Kaizer Chiefs on 13 January.

The teams have met three times already this season (once in the league, plus a two-legged semifinal tie in the MTN8) and all have ended in draws: 1-1, 0-0 and 1-1. This fourth clash will surely be another evenly-contested affair between the green and gold of two of the country’s foremost teams.

Marumo Gallants will be the next visitors to Durban on 21 January. Bahlabane Ba Ntwa held Usuthu 0-0 when they met in Polokwane back in October, but Folz and his side will settle for nothing less than three points this time around.

Completing the quintet of AmaZulu’s first clashes after Qatar 2022 is the return match with Royal AM on 24 January – just over two weeks after their meeting earlier in the month. The outcome of the Chatsworth encounter will set the narrative for this game, with Usuthu hoping that they will be going in search of a league ‘double’ over their derby rivals.

AmaZulu’s first five matches after the World Cup

– 31 December – Sekhukhune United v AmaZulu – Peter Mokaba Stadium, 17:30

– 8 January – Royal AM v AmaZulu – Chatsworth Stadium, 15:30

– 13 January – AmaZulu v Kaizer Chiefs – Moses Mabhida Stadium, 19:30

– 21 January – AmaZulu v Marumo Gallants – Moses Mabhida Stadium, 20:00

– 24 January – AmaZulu v Royal AM – Moses Mabhida Stadium, 17:00