PSL focus on relegation, top eight

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iol spt may9 Supersport Gallo Images With the race for Premiership honours over, focus now shifts to the middle and bottom of the table, where SuperSport United and Polokwane find themselves desperate for victory on the final day of the season. Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Johannesburg – With the race for Premiership honours over, focus now shifts to the middle and bottom of the table, where SuperSport United and Polokwane find themselves desperate for victory on the final day of the season.

Mamelodi Sundowns wrapped up the Premiership title on Tuesday, courtesy of a 3-0 thumping of SuperSport, and were crowned champions of the league for the first time since 2007.

Now, the challenge to finish in the top eight becomes the centre of attention as United welcome City to Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday.

SuperSport will be bidding to remain in eighth position and will need a win to secure their 14th successive top-eight finish since 2000, when they last finished outside the top half.

A loss or draw could see Matsatsantsa overtaken by ninth-placed Platinum Stars, who trail Cavin Johnson's team by just two points and are very much in the hunt for a strong finish.

Johnson admitted the fight for the vital top-eight spot would go down to the wire on the weekend.

“We have to throw the kitchen sink at them on Saturday and we have to come out with everything we have,” Johnson said.

AmaZulu, in seventh spot, could also end up outside the top eight if they lose against Chiefs and both Platinum Stars and SuperSport win their games.

City, meanwhile, find themselves in the thick of a relegation scrap, currently third from bottom, above Free State Stars and Golden Arrows.

Arrows have already condemned to life in the National First Division next season but a defeat or draw for FS Stars, who play Moroka Swallows, would see them take part in a playoff for promotion/relegation.

A draw should be enough for Polokwane City against SuperSport to guarantee their status in the country’s top-flight next season as they have a comfortable cushion in their superior goal difference.

At the top of the table, Chiefs and Wits have secured their positions at second and third respectively.

Chiefs suffered a tough few weeks, failing to defend their league and Nedbank Cup titles in a season where they will finish trophy-less.

For Wits, a third-place finish marks a successful first season under coach Gavin Hunt, who steered the Clever Boys to a position higher than last campaign's fourth-placed finish.

All 16 teams are in action on Saturday, with all eight league ties scheduled to kickoff at 3pm.

Premiership fixtures: Kaizer Chiefs v AmaZulu (Peter Mokaba Stadium), Moroka Swallows v Free State Stars (Dobsonville Stadium), SuperSport United v Polokwane City (Lucas Moripe Stadium), Golden Arrows v Orlando Pirates (Moses Mabhida Stadium), Platinum Stars v Ajax Cape Town (Royal Bafokeng Stadium), Bloemfontein Celtic v Wits (Kaizer Sebothelo Stadium), Mpumalanga Black Aces v University of Pretoria (Mbombela Stadium), Maritzburg Utd v Mamelodi Sundowns (Harry Gwala Stadium). – Sapa



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