Absa Premiership: The battle for honours and survival
Monday, April 16, 2012 (17:24)
Benni McCarthy @ Backpagepix
Benni McCarthy @ Backpagepix

There seem to be a general consensus in South African football now that it’s way too early to predict the destination of the Absa Premiership trophy this season.

To say the league race is tight will be both an exhausted cliché and maybe an awful understatement. This one – this Absa Premiership title battle – will go to the wire.

On Tuesday, the race continues but it is Wednesday that is likely to have an impact in the log standings at the top.

The battle for number one is intensifying but another drama is playing itself out in the bottom half o the table where at least six teams are facing the prospects of relegation – three of those teams are desperately searching for renewed fortunes.

On Tuesday night Kaizer Chiefs – who are fourth – will travel to Polokwane to take on Maritzburg United at the Peter Mokaba Stadium. Chiefs have 40 points – six points shy of log leaders, Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates who are on par with points.

Amakhosi though will be looking to narrow the gap. They have a lot in their plate following the ‘amicable’ split with long-term coach, Vladimir Vermezovic.

On Wednesday, Orlando Pirates will make the short trip to Dobsonville to take on Moroka Swallows in the Soweto derby. Bragging rights might be at stake, but it the motivation for both these teams will be to keep up with the leaders.

Pirates are second but Gordon Igesund has built a formidable Fort in this Swallows sides and they are also still in the mix to claim top honours. Swallows are currently third with 42 points. A win will take them within touching distance to the leaders.

Sundowns, who have been leading the log since the start of the New Year will host Platinum Stars – a side that has seemingly turned the corner and undergone reincarnation.

At the bottom, Santos will be looking to bounce back from their Cup competition exit when they welcome SuperSport United at Athlone. Santos are second from bottom with 20 points.

Jomo Cosmos, rooted rock bottom, will travel to their alternative home ground in Port Elizabeth to face Bloemfontein Celtic at the Nelson Mandela Stadium. Cosmos, who are on 16 points, need both goals and results.

There is no denying that they have been playing romantic football, but ask any hopeless romantic – romance alone doesn’t pay bills. Results, and that alone, will elevate their position in the log.

Fellow strugglers, Black Leopards will travel to Charles Mopedi to play tricky Free State Stars.

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