The Citizen (Gauteng)

Race is on for second place

Carryovers to TAB’s principal Soccer 4, 6 and 10 pools tomorrow add spice to an array of key PSL midweek clashes which include a mustwin clash between relegation-haunted Chippa United and Black Leopards.

- By Mark Gleeson

Mamelodi Sundowns’ trip to Cairo for this weekend’s assignment in the African Champions League offers an opportunit­y for the clubs immediatel­y below them in the PSL table to cut into their significan­t lead.

But the reality of a seven-point lead with four games to play is that the title is as good as in the bag for the Brazilians.

The real interest is about who finishes second and third and books berths in African club competitio­n next season, as well as the top eight and the relegation battle.

There’s a full list of key fixtures this afternoon and tomorrow. AmaZulu can consolidat­e second spot by beating Baroka FC at home today, although they are up against a team who are notoriousl­y difficult to break down.

Benni McCarthy’s side have not played for 10 days since edging out Golden Arrows, who are in third spot.

Arrows have lost only once in their past 10 outings, but drawn far too many matches - five of their last seven.

That could well be the outcome of tomorrow’s KwaZuluNat­al derby at Maritzburg United, which would leave Arrows’ hopes of a top-two finish looking rather bleak.

But what is sure for them this season is a best-yet finish. Their previous high of fifth was in 2009 and before that in 2003.

Orlando Pirates, currently fourth, still have outside hopes of second spot but are eight points behind second-placed AmaZulu with a game in hand. They should be too strong today for faltering Stellenbos­ch FC, whose horrid home form has seen them unable to win at the Danie Craven Stadium since January.

There is a key relegation game at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium tomorrow when secondfrom-bottom Chippa United host last-placed Black Leopards.

With six points between the pair, it is really the last opportunit­y to save their status and avoid automatic relegation. Given their desperate situation and Chippa’s hangover after cup final disappoint­ment, Leopards could win.

Three TAB soccer pools get carryover boosts tomorrow, including R100,000 add-ins for the main Soccer 6 and Soccer10 pools, which close at 15:00.

 ?? PICTURE: BACKPAGEPI­X ?? CHIPPA UNITED'S RIAAN HANAMUB LOOKS TOTALLY DEJECTED AFTER HIS SIDE LOST TO TSHAKHUMA FC IN THE NEDBANK CUP FINAL ON SATURDAY. CHIPPA ARE BACK IN ACTION TOMORROW IN A RELEGATION CLASH WITH BLACK LEOPARDS THAT’S A MUST-WIN GAME FOR BOTH SIDES.
PICTURE: BACKPAGEPI­X CHIPPA UNITED'S RIAAN HANAMUB LOOKS TOTALLY DEJECTED AFTER HIS SIDE LOST TO TSHAKHUMA FC IN THE NEDBANK CUP FINAL ON SATURDAY. CHIPPA ARE BACK IN ACTION TOMORROW IN A RELEGATION CLASH WITH BLACK LEOPARDS THAT’S A MUST-WIN GAME FOR BOTH SIDES.

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