Arrows first up for Pirates
PREMIER League champions Orlando Pirates will host Lamontville Golden Arrows in the opening match of the new season.
This was one of the top ties to emerge from the draw for the Absa Premiership that was made at PSL headquarters yesterday.
The 2012-13 season is scheduled to start in the second week of August although no specific date has been set. The league will also break for two-and-a-half months from December to February to accommodate the recess and the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals, which will be held in South Africa.
Venues were not confirmed though most clubs are unlikely to move from the stadiums they used last season.
PSL general manager Derek Blanckensee said the draw had been done to show the league's "transparency" when planning for the new season. The pick of the opening matches will be the one between Ajax Cape Town, who finished outside the top eight last season for the first time since 2006, at home against SuperSport United, who finished third behind Pirates and Moroka Swallows.
Premier League rookies University of Pretoria will host Maritzburg United in their opener. AmaTuks were offered some protection by the PSL, which made sure the newcomers would not meet any of the top three teams from last season in their first two matches.
Their second match will be against Arrows in Durban and they will host their first Pretoria derby against Matsatsantsa in their third encounter of the season.
Blanckensee said the move had been borrowed from the Bundesliga, which ensures promoted teams are given a reasonable opportunity to find their feet at the higher level.
First matches: Platinum Stars vs Swallows; Ajax vs SS United; Pirates vs Arrows; AmaTuks vs Maritzburg United; AmaZulu vs Chiefs; Sundowns vs play-off winners; Free State Stars vs Bidvest Wits and Black Leopards vs Bloemfontein Celtic.