Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition)

Plenty at stake for basement dwellers


THE day when you are guaranteed to have palpitatio­ns merely because you are a die-hard supporter of one of the Limpopo-based sides has arrived.

It is well documented that most of the top-flight clubs, if not all, from the uppermost province in the country are bound to endure the doldrums of relegation come the end of the season.

And this season hasn’t been different. Depressing­ly enough for their fans, one of their teams already has one-and-half foot in the GladAfrica Championsh­ip next season.

And that’s Polokwane City who are rock-bottom on the standings with 25 points.

Given Rise and Shine may be three points adrift from neighbours Baroka FC but such is their overwhelmi­ng eight-goal deficit that any chances of even playing in the relegation/promotion playoffs in the next few days look impossible.

This afternoon coach Clinton Larsen’s men will square off against Bidvest Wits in the season’s finale. Granted the Clever Boys were sold to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhand­ila ahead of next season but that they can finish as high up as third on the standings will give them the almost perfect ending.

However, Baroka won’t have their dream of finishing safe, away from the drop zone or play-off spot, cut out for them as they’ll meet leaders Kaizer Chiefs, who also know that three points will deliver them to the promised land – the championsh­ip.

Dylan Kerr’s troops head into the final round of matches with their chips down, following the 4-1 humiliatio­n to SuperSport United in the penultimat­e round. But after defeating championsh­ip hopefuls Mamelodi Sundowns by 1-0 before that, they’ll believe that they can pull a rabbit out of the hat.

But you can expect Black Leopards, another Limpopo-based side, to be more confident of the lot. Lidoda Duvha will face Sundowns in their own match at Dobsonvill­e Stadium at the back of a win that demolished Wits’ title aspiration­s.

Granted that Leopards, who are 14th on the spot, are led by inexperien­ced duo Mongezi Bobe and Morgan Shivambu but most players that are fighting for their lives always have an appetite of comprehend­ing the instructio­ns from the young and new coaches.

Ask AmaZulu, who are also not out of the woods yet, they’ll know. Usuthu are led by Ayanda Dlamini and Moeneeb Josephs who temporaril­y took over the reins before lockdown from underperfo­rming Jozef Vukusic.

Such has been the duos’ growth and well understand­ing with the players that they defeated Chiefs in their first game.

Since the restart, they’ve had disappoint­ing results but they know that a win against Highlands Park today or losses to fellow relegation candidates, will ensure safety.

All the matches will simultaneo­usly kick-off at 3:30pm this afternoon in the various bubble located stadium in Gauteng. But it will be in Limpopo where supporters will be watching with unease from the edge of their seats as the wrath of relegation may befall their beloved clubs.

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