Mbabane: Giants Mbabane Highlanders have been handed a rather difficult opening five matches of the new MTN Premier League season 2020/2021.
This is if the draft fixture leaked to Independent News Sports is anything to go by. The record 13 time league winners will face-off with bitter-sworn rivals Mbabane Swallows in the first match of the season.
On week two, Highlanders will revive their 60-year old rivalry with Manzini Wanderers before matches against six-time league champions Royal Leopard, defending MTN League champions Young Buffaloes and tough-as-teak Green Mamba.
The MTN Premier League begins November 20 under strict Covid-19 regulations and there will be no fans allowed.
2020/21 MTN LEAGUE FIXTURE
Mbabane Swallows vs Mbabane Highlanders
Young Buffaloes vs Green Mamba
Tambuti vs Milling Hotspurs
Malanti Chiefs vs Royal Leopard
Black Swallows vs Tambankulu Callies
Mhlume Peacemakers vs Tinyosi
Denver Sundowns vs Manzini Sea Birds
Moneni Pirates vs Manzini Wanderers
Black Swallows vs Mbabane Swallows
Malanti Chiefs vs Young Buffaloes
Tambuti vs Green Mamba
Manzini Wanderers vs Mbabane Highlanders
Milling Hotspurs vs Mhlume Peacemakers
Royal Leopard vs Denver Sundowns
Tambankulu Callies vs Moneni Pirates
Tinyosi vs Manzini Sea Birds
Mbabane Swallows vs Young Buffaloes
Green Mamba vs Milling Hotspurs
Mbabane Highlanders vs Royal Leopard
Tambuti vs Tambankulu Callies
Malanti Chiefs vs Tinyosi
Black Swallows vs Manzini Sea Birds
Mhlume Peacemakers vs Moneni Pirates
Denver Sundowns vs Manzini Wanderers
The first week batch of matches contains other lucrative matches despite the Mbabane derby as it will also offer the hub derby between Manzini Wanderers and Moneni Pirates, and the security forces derby between Buffaloes and Green Mamba. Buffaloes and Green Mamba are the winners of the last two MTN League titles.
Other interesting games include the Swallows and Buffaloes clash on week three, Wanderers and Green Mamba on week four.
Newcomers Tinyosi and Tambankulu Callies will get to meet on week eight.
In the new season, the will be 16 teams in the premier league following the PLE resolution not to effect relegation after the COVID-19 interrupted 2019/20 season. Callies along with Tinyosi were promoted to the premier league, meaning each team will play 30 MTN League matches this new season.
It is expected that the 2020/21 matches will be evenly scattered across the country because of the number of games to be played with Callies expected to utilise Tambankulu Stadium, Peacemakers making constant use of their own Nsukuwansuku Stadium while Black Swallows and Malanti Chiefs will be responsible with taking as many games to the northern town of Pigg’s Peak.
Eswatini football is back after Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini’s led government gave it the green light.
Tambuti vs Mbabane Swallows
Mbabane Highlanders vs Young Buffaloes
Manzini Wanderers vs Green Mamba
Milling Hotspurs vs Malanti Chiefs
Royal Leopard vs Black Swallows
Tambankulu Callies vs Mhlume Peacemakers
Tinyosi vs Denver Sundowns
Manzini Sea Birds vs Moneni Pirates
Mbabane Swallows vs Malanti Chiefs
Young Buffaloes vs Tambuti
Green Mamba vs Mbabane Highlanders
Black Swallows vs Milling Hotspurs
Mhlume Peacemakers vs Royal Leopard
Denver Sundowns vs Tambankulu Callies
Moneni Pirates vs Tinyosi
Manzini Sea Birds vs Manzini Wanderers