Make or break for AmaTuks

2012-05-09 10:20

National First Division (NFD) log leaders University of Pretoria should seal the deal with a victory today and go into their remaining two matches needing just a point to get into the Premiership.

AmaTuks, who are six points clear of trailers Blackburn Rovers, host FC Cape Town in Pretoria this afternoon in a game that the Pretoria could increase their points to 55.

The tally is a projected haul for Rovers if they were to win all their three remaining matches.

The Eastern Cape side welcomes relegation-haunted Dynamos at Buffalo City Stadium tonight.

This time around the NFD champions will not go through the torture of the promotional play-offs as the rules have been changed along the lines of the one-stream structure.

AmaTuks reached the promotional play-offs final four years ago and came short during the 2008/09 and 2010/11 seasons.

But coach Steve Barker’s should avoid slip-ups at this penultimate stage as Rovers remains the side will the real chance of winning the championship.

Meanwhile, third-placed Thanda Royal Zulu – who will meet AmaTuks in the final league round on May 19 – must also pick up maximum points against Sivutsa Stars in Nelspruit tonight, to enhance their chances of a play-off berth.

Also in the running for a place-off spot are Chippa United and FC AK, who have an outside chance of sneaking in if the sides above them falter along the way.

The runners-up and a third-placed side will go into a play-off with a team that finishes 15th in the Premiership.

This will be contested on a round robin format – on a home and away basis – and the team with the most points will be promoted.

Meanwhile, the race for survival will continue between Mpumalanga Black Aces, Bay United and Atlie FC, who all face the prospect of relegation.

There is so much in common between the three that their fans have been starved for victory for many weeks now.

Atlie, who bought the status of Nathi Lions at the start of the season, have not picked maximum points in their last six fixtures, Aces (seven) and United (five).

Today’s NFD fixtures at a glance:
University of Pretoria vs FC Cape Town (Tuks Stadium); Witbank Spurs vs Chippa United (Puma Rugby Stadium); FC AK vs African Warriors (Eldorado Park); Vasco Da Gama vs Black Aces (Parow Park) Carara Kicks vs Atlie FC (Charles Mopeli Stadium); United FC vs Bay United (GWK Stadium); Blackburn Rovers vs Dynamos (Buffalo City Stadium, 7.30pm); Sivutsa Stars vs Thanda Royal Zulu (KaNyamazane Stadium, 7.30pm)

» All matches kick-off at 3pm unless otherwise stated

Read more on NFD in City Press on Sunday

Follow me on twitter @DanieMothowagae

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