Dubbed Super Saturday, the final day of the Absa Premiership will be nothing short of joy and pain when the curtain falls on the campaign that was delayed for nearly five months by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Final sprint to the R15 million prize
Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns head into their fixtures tied on 56 points, with Amakhosi still on top of the standing by virtue of a better goal difference.
Chiefs, with a +21 goal difference, meet Baroka FC at Bidvest Stadium, while Sundowns (with a +18 goal difference) will host relegation-haunted Black Leopards at Dobsonville Stadium.
As things stand, Sundowns need four goals, without conceding, to overhaul Chiefs’ tally.
Still, the permutations are simple and straightforward in the other scenarios around the final sprint to the R15 million first prize purse:
- If Chiefs and Sundowns win on Saturday, they will still be equal on points and goal difference will decide the champions;
- If Chiefs lose and Sundowns beat Leopards, the Brazilians will lift the title; and
- A Sundowns loss will hand Chiefs the trophy even if Amakhosi fail to beat Leopards.
What is guaranteed for Chiefs and Sundowns even before an official ball is kicked on Saturday is that they have already qualified for next season’s CAF Champions League by virtue of their top-two rankings on the premiership table.
The battle for the remaining CAF Confederation slot will be between SuperSport United, Orlando Pirates and Bidvest Wits.
Scramble for top-eight berth
At sixth place, Maritzburg United’s place in the top eight is all but secured and only two places remain up for grabs in the jostle for places in next season’s MTN8 competition.
Bloemfontein Celtic and Stellenbosch FC face a must-win situation, but their top-eight tickets can only be attained if seventh-placed Cape Town City and eighth-placed Highlands Park suffer defeat in their fixtures.
A fight for survival
At the bottom, Polokwane City will need nothing short of a miracle to escape relegation. City is at the bottom with 25 points. The team above them, Baroka, are on 28 points.
The biggest talking point is the massive goal difference. Polokwane City will need to beat their final-day opponents, Bidvest Wits, by eight unanswered goals and pray that Baroka lose in their final game against Chiefs.
The writing is on the wall for them as theirs looks to be a mission impossible. The club owned by Limpopo-born businessman Johnny Mogaladi is destined to play in the GladAfrica Championship next season.
Coach Clinton Larsen has failed to rescue the team he joined in December after Serbian manager Zlatko Krmpotic was axed.
The unresolved battle is the fight to avoid finishing 15th on the table. Baroka (28 points) are currently in position 15, while Leopards and AmaZulu are in 14th and 15th place, respectively, both with 29 points.
It is unlikely that Baroka will want to do Chiefs any favours because they are relegation-threatened. Chiefs will be desperate for a win to secure the title, while Bakgaga need the points to avoid the chop.
- Bloemfontein Celtic vs Maritzburg United (Tuks Stadium)
- Bidvest Wits vs Polokwane City (FNB Stadium)
- Baroka FC vs Kaizer Chiefs (Bidvest Stadium)
- Chippa United vs Golden Arrows (Orlando Stadium)
- Mamelodi Sundowns vs Black Leopards (Dobsonville Stadium)
- Orlando Pirates vs Stellenbosch (Ellis Park Stadium)
- Cape Town City vs SuperSport United (Loftus Versfeld Stadium)
- AmaZulu vs Highlands Park (Lucas Moripe Stadium)