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Swallows on brink of retaining top flight status, All Stars look to salvage pride

Dillan Solomons of Swallows FC challenged by Samuel Julies of Tuks during the Promotion Playoffs 2021/22 match at the Tuks Stadium, Pretoria on the 04 June 2022. Picture: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Dillan Solomons of Swallows FC challenged by Samuel Julies of Tuks during the Promotion Playoffs 2021/22 match at the Tuks Stadium, Pretoria on the 04 June 2022. Picture: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Jun 10, 2022

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Johannesburg - Cape Town All Stars welcome the visit of Swallows FC to the Danie Craven Stadium in their promotion-relegation play-offs match on Saturday afternoon at 3 pm.

Swallows were the most pleased with the University of Pretoria's failure to beat All Stars in midweek, as this drew them closer to retaining their Dstv Premiership status.

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A win for Swallows will lift them above Tuks and place them in the driving seat going into their crunch encounter on the final day. Swallows are currently second with four points, trailing Tuks in first by a single point with a game in hand.

All Stars, still indulged in controversy after being charged by the PSL's DC for improper conduct last time against Swallows, have an opportunity to get one back at the Dube Birds and salvage a bit of pride seeing as there is no possibility of gaining promotion themselves.

Many coaches around the world have explained it’s less than ideal playing the same side twice in a short space of time. The influence of scenarios and the final results of that match are normally nearly impossible to disregard, and the current situation might aid Swallows’ search for an important win down in Cape Town.

The Dube Birds have been required to flex their superiority in quality so far in the play-offs having been outplayed in the opening half of games so far. A change in attitude, tweaks in formation and playing personnel worked wonders for Swallows a week ago when these two sides met.

Ruzaigh Gamildien and Joseph Mhlongo both came off the bench and combined for the match-winner last time out and will be looking to impress if used from the start.

While Mhlongo hasn't been a part of the starting 11 the entire season, Gamildien has and has failed to replicate his form of a year ago that saw him in Bafana Bafana squad and hunted for by Kaizer Chiefs. His mere four goals in 25 appearances this campaign are part of the reasons why Swallows have to fight for their lives in the play-offs.

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Igugu leKapa have been handed a harsh lesson in the play-offs this year. Two defeats in three games while conceding six goals in the process mean coach Alan Freese's men have nothing but pride fight for in their final match in their own backyard.

Ndiviwe Mdabuka, the club's top scorer this season came off the bench to salvage a point for All Stars in their last match. He and eSwatini international Justine Figuareido looked the most likely to manufacture anything positive for the side moving forward and will be aching at the chance to go out with a bang.

@SmisoMsomi16

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