‘Downs walk out as champs, Pirates chase second

‘Downs walk out as champs, Pirates chase second
Orlando Pirates warming up

by Graeme Jackson

Saturday May 29, 2021. 10:00

The DStv Premiership has entered the final week of its 2020-21 season, with two catch-up matches this Saturday and Sunday before the final two rounds of the season in the coming days.

Saturday 29 May sees Mamelodi Sundowns have the chance to walk out of the tunnel as champions when they face hosts Swallows FC at Dobsonville Stadium.

Sundowns clinched the title – for an unprecedented fourth successive season – when they defeated Tshwane rivals SuperSport United 3-1 this past midweek.

Swallows, meanwhile, will be looking to maintain their unbeaten home record (they are the only remaining team yet to lose at home this season) and hopefully avoid another draw. The Birds have racked up six straight stalemates and 18 overall this season – a PSL-era record.

“At Sundowns everyone works hard. I am proud of the players. We have physios, analysts, coaches doctors who work hard,” said ‘Downs co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi.

“Before every game, we watch four to five matches of our opponents in action to understand each of their players. That allows us to realise what to expect structurally. I would like to thank the families of everyone working at Sundowns because they suffer the most.”

Sunday 30 May sees Orlando Pirates continue their quest to finish as runners-up behind ‘Downs and secure a return to the CAF Champions League next season.

The Buccaneers struck a major blow in this regard when they defeated current second-placed side, AmaZulu, 1-0 at home this past midweek. The result left the Soweto giants four points behind their vanquished opponents, but with this game in hand, which will be away to TS Galaxy at the Mbombela Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

“For next season‚ we first have to now fight for a place in the CAF. And when that is done then we are looking ahead‚ and now we have the experience‚ and we’ll be looking for more from next season,” said Buccaneers coach Josef Zinnbauer.

Galaxy, though, will be motivated to continue their push for a top-eight finish in their maiden top-flight season.

DStv Premiership weekend fixtures

Saturday 29 May

17:00 CAT: Swallows FC v Mamelodi Sundowns

Sunday 30 May

15:00 CAT: TS Galaxy v Orlando Pirates

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