Relegation crunch time; Pirates-Sekukhune tune up for final

Relegation crunch time; Pirates-Sekukhune tune up for final
Maritzburg United players warm up

by Graeme Jackson

Friday May 12, 2023. 11:00

This weekend’s DStv Premiership action will all unfold on the afternoon of Saturday 13 May, with the relegation battle and a dress rehearsal for the Nedbank Cup final later this month set to be the leading narratives.

One fixture from this penultimate round has already taken place, with Mamelodi Sundowns defeating Marumo Gallants this past weekend (due to the teams’ participation in CAF club competitions) to leave the latter in a vulnerable position in the relegation race.

Gallants sit on 29 points, just above the relegation playoff zone, but the two teams below them – Chippa United (29 points) and Maritzburg United (26 points) – have a chance to revive their survival hopes with games in hand this weekend.

Maritzburg effectively face a must-win clash at home to Stellenbosch FC at the Harry Gwala Stadium, while Chippa are away to TS Galaxy – where a victory for the visitors would not only pull them out of the red zone, but also drag the Rockets (who are just three points ahead) into the relegation mix.

“We need to fight more,” said Maritzburg defender Alfred Ndengane. “I won’t focus on the negative now, but the positive will take us through. We just keep the fight, it doesn’t matter who we are playing. We keep the fight up until the last minute.”

Another match taking on major significance is the clash between Orlando Pirates and Sekhukhune United. Not only will the Buccaneers be chasing a home win to try and secure second place on the log (and with it a place in next season’s CAF Champions League), but his game serves as a dress rehearsal for the Nedbank Cup final on May 27.

“We are playing them next week!” noted Sekhukhune coach Brandon Truter of the prospect of taking on Pirates at Loftus Stadium for the national cup.

In addition, Saturday’s run of seven simultaneous afternoon kick-offs also features a Durban derby between Golden Arrows and AmaZulu; SuperSport United and Kaizer Chiefs renewing their rivalry; Royal AM playing host to Swallows FC; and Cape Town City looking to add to Richards Bay’s horrendous run of form – the Natal Rich Boyz have gone 12 league matches without win.

DStv Premiership fixtures – Saturday 13 May

All matches kick-off at 3pm CAT

Royal AM v Swallows FC

Cape Town City v Richards Bay

Orlando Pirates v Sekhukhune United

Maritzburg United v Stellenbosch FC

TS Galaxy v Chippa United

SuperSport United v Kaizer Chiefs

Golden Arrows v AmaZulu

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