Spurs staring down the barrel, Sundowns chase record marks

Spurs staring down the barrel, Sundowns chase record marks
Ashley Cupido of Cape Town Spurs reacts in dejection during the DStv Premiership 2023/24 game between Cape Town Spurs and Polokwane City at Athlone Stadium on 30 April 2024 ©Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Tuesday May 07, 2024. 11:00

A full midweek set of fixtures in South Africa’s DStv Premiership will feature Cape Town Spurs looking to cling to the faintest hope of survival, while champions Mamelodi Sundowns will look to push closer to more incredible records.

Spurs, who find themselves eight points adrift at the bottom of the log, face Royal AM at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Tuesday and must claim a win to keep alive their already very slim hopes of avoiding direct relegation to the second-tier.

Should the Cape side succumb in Pietermaritzburg, their relegation would be confirmed on Wednesday if second-from-bottom Richards Bay can win away to Polokwane City at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium.

Now it’s a different scenario. We have to see how to approach the remaining four games. Of course, miracles do happen, but I’m being realistic,” said Spurs coach Ernst Middendorp.

“Richards Bay won and with four games to go, we have to fight, it is okay. But I don’t think Richards Bay are so stupid as not to pick up points any more. It will not happen. This is a situation we are in and it’s going to be tough.”

Mamelodi Sundowns may have secured the championship, but the chance to go a full league season (30 matches) unbeaten, extend their current record run of 48 Premiership matches without defeat and eclipse their own points record (71 in the 2015-16 season; Sundowns could reach 80 this term if they win all six remaining matches) will be motivating factors when they face Golden Arrows at the Mpumalanga Stadium on Wednesday.

This is a special squad… the incredibles. We may not see their likes again in South Africa for a very long time,” said Sundowns coach Rhulani Mokwena.

The race to be ‘best of the rest’ behind Sundowns – and qualify for next season’s CAF Champions League – is between Stellenbosch FC and Orlando Pirates, with the former enjoying a three-point lead over the latter.

Both teams will be in action on Wednesday, with Stellies at home to AmaZulu FC and Pirates welcoming Chippa United to the Orlando Stadium in a repeat of their Nedbank Cup semifinal showdown from this past weekend.

Other narratives which will feature strongly includes Cape Town City looking to break an 11-game winless run across all competitions when they host Moroka Swallows, Kaizer Chiefs will look to restore some pride at home to TS Galaxy following last Thursday’s 1-5 thrashing at the hands of Mamelodi Sundowns, and SuperSport United will look to build momentum when they host Sekhukhune United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.

DStv Premiership midweek fixtures

Times CAT

Tuesday 7 May

19:30: Cape Town City v Moroka Swallows

19:30: SuperSport United v Sekhukhune United

19:30: Royal AM v Cape Town Spurs

19:30: Kaizer Chiefs v TS Galaxy

Wednesday 8 May

19:30: Golden Arrows v Mamelodi Sundowns

19:30: Orlando Pirates v Chippa United

19:30: Stellenbosch FC v AmaZulu FC

19:30: Polokwane City v Richards Bay

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