Absa Premiership

Wits vs Downs – winner takes all

2017-04-30 06:05
Lebogang Phiri in his days at Bidvest Wits. (Backpagepix)

Johannesburg - Things can change quickly in football, and the round of games in the next few days features some eye-catching encounters that could make or break clubs’ aspirations.

Starting on Sunday afternoon, clubs have all to play for in their bid to either win the championship or avoid relegation.

Bidvest Wits will know on Monday afternoon whether or not they are still serious title contenders after they host high-riding Mamelodi Sundowns.

They know that a loss will dent their title aspirations, if not dash them completely.

Title race

The Students have everything to lose going into their next fixtures, which could define their season.

This is a big one for both sides and whoever loses could be out of the title race as they run out of games to play.

This is the winner-takes-all encounter, but a tricky one for both teams.

Sundowns are in a mean mood, and are determined to get a result and consolidate their position at the top.

Does not guarantee points

After going through a temporary lapse of form when they went five games without a win, the Brazilians are rolling along at the moment after picking up five successive crucial victories without conceding a goal.

Three days later, Wits will host Orlando Pirates in another massive game, before taking on the ever-improving Maritzburg United a week from Sunday. 

Although they will play their next three fixtures at home, playing in front of their supporters does not guarantee points.

They have already lost twice at home, to Cape Town City and SuperSport United.

Their title aspirations took a massive knock on Tuesday when they lost to United at home, but bounced back to beat Highlands Park 2-0 on Friday and will need to continue winning to stand a chance to win their maiden championship.

Sundowns will then face Platinum Stars before visiting Pirates next Sunday.

The battle to avoid relegation will also intensify when bottom-of-the-table Baroka FC host Bloemfontein Celtic on Sunday afternoon.

Both sides really need points to move away from the relegation zone, and will have to use each other as stepping stones.

Pull another one

Another interesting battle is penned for Harry Gwala Stadium, where the surprise package of the season, Cape Town City, visit a rejuvenated Maritzburg United on Monday afternoon.

United have found a new lease of life under caretaker coach Fadlu Davids, who has mustered two successive victories over Baroka and Chippa United.

They will all but ensure a top-eight finish if they can pull another one over City, who are eyeing the big prize at the top.


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Wednesday, 21 February 2018
Mamelodi Sundowns v Free State Stars, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 19:30
Friday, 23 February 2018
Maritzburg United v Platinum Stars, Harry Gwala Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 24 February 2018
Baroka FC v Polokwane City, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Cape Town City FC v Wits, Athlone Stadium 18:00
Mamelodi Sundowns v SuperSport United, Lucas Moripe Stadium 18:00
Kaizer Chiefs v Bloemfontein Celtic, FNB Stadium 20:15
Free State Stars v AmaZulu FC, Goble Park 20:15
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The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

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