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Race for second spot and relegation battle intensifies

Victor Letsoalo of Royal AM is challenged by Nathan Idumba Fasika of Cape Town City during the DStv Premiership game at Cape Town Stadium on 16 April 2022. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Victor Letsoalo of Royal AM is challenged by Nathan Idumba Fasika of Cape Town City during the DStv Premiership game at Cape Town Stadium on 16 April 2022. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Published Apr 20, 2022

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Johannesburg - With Mamelodi Sundowns virtually certain to win the domestic league title this season, the key races are now for second place spot and the relegation battle.

Due to the erratic nature of this season, a lot with regards to these battles can change between now and the end of the season. The race for second spot will intensify as the runners-up spot earns the club the right to play in next season’s Caf Champions League.

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Surprise package Royal AM are currently second but just four points separate them from third place Cape Town City. Eric Tinkler’s in-form side also have a game in hand over the Kwa Zulu Natal side.

It must be said that Cape Town City have a trickier fixture list than Royal AM in the near future. Tinkler’s charges next play three consecutive away games against Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Chippa United. Royal AM’s next two games will be against AmaZulu and Maritzburg United who have both been struggling for consistency this season.

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However, it must also be added that in between those two fixtures, John Maduka’s side will contest their Nedbank Cup semi-final game against Sundowns. With one eye on the Nedbank Cup and another on the race for second spot, Maduka will have to carefully rotate his side in the near future.

Meanwhile, fourth place Kaizer Chiefs are five points behind Royal AM with two games in hand.

Given the inconsistency of Orlando Pirates which is unlikely to end soon, it’s safe to say that the battle for second spot will be a three way battle between Royal AM, Cape Town City and Kaizer Chiefs.

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Meanwhile, in the relegation battle, there are just seven points that separate last place Baroka FC from 12th place Chippa United. In the relegation dogfight, it’s likely that the bottom five teams (Chippa United, Maritzburg United, TS Galaxy, Swallows FC and Baroka FC) are all in danger.

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The team that finishes last will be automatically relegated to the GladAfrica Championship, while the team that finishes second last will have to contest the PSL promotion/relegation playoffs against the top performing runners up from the GladAfrica Championship.

@eshlinv

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