Johannesburg - After dropping two valuable points against SuperSport United, Orlando Pirates can ill afford to lose more points if they are to take the race contest to the wire.
Pirates will be hoping to bounce back against an inconsistent AmaZulu at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi this afternoon.
Against United, Pirates lacked firepower upfront – something that coach Milutin Sredojevic would not have been happy about.
It was the first time they dropped points after a streak of five wins. The Buccaneers were misfiring and had to settle for a point after a goalless draw.
They cannot afford that lacklustre performance again in their pursuit of the league title, which is now for log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns to lose.
Starting from today, failure to gain maximum points will effectively give the title to the Brazilians.
Pirates are capable of putting on a good show and making the title contest interesting. The likes of Justin Shonga, Luvuyo Memela and Thembinkosi Lorch will have to be decisive in front of goals and take their chances.
But it won’t be smooth sailing for Pirates as AmaZulu are not yet guaranteed their safety. Platinum Stars, who are at the bottom of the log, could still catch them.
Cavin Johnson’s players know that a victory this afternoon will secure Absa Premiership status for another season.
Johnson will rely on veterans Siyabonga Nomvethe and Mabhuti Khenyeza to do the damage for him.
Meanwhile in Johannesburg, Platinum Stars will fancy their chances against Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium.
With a lot of uncertainty at Chiefs, Stars, who need maximum points, could exploit the situation and use it to their advantage.
Stars are fighting for their lives and need to win their remaining four games to stand a chance of surviving the chop. They registered their first victory of the year against a struggling Polokwane City last weekend.
Coach Roger De Sá would be hoping that the win was their turning point and will want to build on it.
However, they face a wounded Chiefs, who need to redeem themselves following their heaviest defeat of the season last weekend.
After going down 3-0 to Chippa United at home last weekend, coach Steve Komphela was too critical of his players. Komphela is looking for a reaction and a change of attitude from his players, who have also vowed to bounce back.
Although out of title contention, Chiefs still have a lot to play for – they want to participate in continental competitions, and must finish second or third on the log to do so.
They also have the pride of Amakhosi to play for.