AmaZulu, Swallows need relegation miracle

2015-04-30 12:27
Bongani Ndulula (Gallo)

Cape Town - With three games left to play in the 2014/15 Absa Premiership season, and the title already wrapped up by Kaizer Chiefs, it appears the two current basement-dwellers look set for finish that way: one being relegated, the other fighting for their survival in a playoff.

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AmaZulu (15th on 24 points) and Moroka Swallows (16th, 24 points) will need to perform a Houdini-like escape if they are to avoid the dreaded drop after poor seasons.

An intriguing aspect to the end of season battle is that the sides are only separated by goal difference (AmaZulu -11, Swallows -18).

The relegation battlers will be hoping to, at least, beat the other side into 15th place on the log – which would earn something of a lifeline as that team will play in the lucrative playoff spot against a National First Division side.

Golden Arrows are currently top the National First Division and look almost-certainties to return to the PSL in the 2015/16 season.

A spot in the PSL is worth approximately R20 million in PSL grants and in years gone by, teams relegated from the PSL have struggled to return to the top-flight of South African football after being relegated.

Chippa United on 29 points are the next most likely candidates to be drawn into the relegation fight after running out of steam in the second half of the season and do face a tricky end to their campaign. The Chilli Boys are five points clear of the two sides occupying the drop zone, but know that one win is probably enough to ensure survival for another year.

On form and the current table dynamics, it looks highly unlikely that AmaZulu or Swallows will finish outside of the bottom two.

Usuthu have five league wins to their name this season while the Dube Birds have one more victory, but two more defeats.

Both sides have had to deal with a change in management in 2014/15.

Both AmaZulu and Swallows have two home games and one away trip in which to keep their PSL status alive, with Maritzburg United likely to have a crucial role to play in determining the final league positions, as both sides will host the Team of Choice.

As the table currently stands, AmaZulu have marginally the easier remaining fixtures, but with their opponents harbouring Top 8 aspirations, the final league table could well only be decided on May 9 - the last day of a fascinating season.

Bottom three’s final league fixtures:

14. Chippa United – Free State Stars (A), Black Aces (A), Kaizer Chiefs (H)

15. AmaZulu – SuperSport (H), AmaTuks (A), Maritzburg United (H)

16. Moroka Swallows – Maritzburg United (H), Ajax Cape Town (A), Bloemfontein Celtic (H) 

*Follow Sport24's Wade Pretorius on Twitter: @wadepretorius

Read more on:    chippa united  |  amazulu  |  moroka swallows  |  psl  |  soccer

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