Absa Premiership

Plenty to play for in PSL run-in

2015-05-05 14:09
Pitso Mosimane (Supplied)

Cape Town - The league title may be wrapped up, but there is still plenty to play for as the PSL enters its final stretch this week.

Fixtures on Wednesday night and Sunday afternoon will wrap up the 2014/15 league season, and while Kaizer Chiefs have ensured that they cannot be surpassed at the summit of the table, there are a few other storylines at play that will unfold over the next few days.

FIVE things to watch as the PSL concludes:

1. THE RACE FOR SECOND

Chiefs have obviously secured their place in the CAF Champions League next season, but the race for second and a place in Africa’s premier club competition (should the PSL once again be granted two places by CAF) is still on. Mamelodi Sundowns (51 points) lead the way ahead of Orlando Pirates (48) and Wits (46), but all three of these sides are in with a mathematical chance of securing second spot.

2. THE GOLDEN BOOT

There has at least been an improvement on the 2013/14 season, when Bernard Parker’s 10 league goals were enough to hand him the Lesley Manyathela trophy. Bloem Celtic’s Lerato Lamola leads the way this term with 13, but the chasing pack is not far behind.

Top goal scorers in PSL 2014/15:

Lerato Lamola (Bloem Celtic) – 13

Moeketsi Sekola (FS Stars) – 12

Puleng Tlolane (Polokwane) – 11

Cuthbert Malajila (Sundowns) – 10

3. AVOIDING THE DROP

AmaZulu would surely take a play-off spot if it was offered to them now and are three points adrift at the bottom of the table with two to play. Moroka Swallows are the other side in immediate danger of going straight down, but they will be looking to avoid any relegation woes by leapfrogging Chippa United who sit two points above then in 14th.

4. THE TOP EIGHT

A place in the top eight ensures participation in next season’s MTN8 – the country’s most lucrative knockout tournament that will see the eventual champions earn R8million for winning just three matches. SuperSport United, Maritzburg United, FS Stars and Polokwane currently occupy positions 7 through 10 and look set to battle it out for the final two spots. SuperSport failing to qualify would be considered a tragedy. 

5. ERIC TINKLER

The Orlando Pirates job is one of the most sought after yet demanding in South African football. Tinkler has stated that he wants to be given the reins on a permanent basis, but whether or not that happens could be largely determined by how he closes out the season. Second place might be enough to buy him another crack, while fourth could spell the end.

Remaining PSL fixtures

Wednesday (Kick-off at 19:30)

Ajax Cape Town v Moroka Swallows

Kaizer Chiefs v Bidvest Wits

Bloemfontein Celtic v Free State Stars

Maritzburg United v Orlando Pirates

SuperSport United v Mamelodi Sundowns

Black Aces v Chippa United

Platinum Stars v Polokwane City

University of Pretoria v AmaZulu

Sunday (Kick-off at 15:00)

Bidvest Wits  v Platinum Stars

Ajax Cape Town v Orlando Pirates

Moroka Swallows v Bloemfontein Celtic

Free State Stars v Black Aces

Sundowns v Tuks

AmaZulu v Maritzburg United

Chippa United v Kaizer Chiefs

Polokwane City v SuperSport United

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Tuesday, 19 December 2017
Mamelodi Sundowns v Cape Town City FC, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 19:30
Wednesday, 20 December 2017
Bloemfontein Celtic v SuperSport United, Dr Molemela Stadium 19:30
Friday, 05 January 2018
Wits v Free State Stars, Bidvest Stadium 20:00
Ajax Cape Town v Maritzburg United, Cape Town Stadium 20:00
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