Relegation battle hots up

Absa Premiership Trophy (Supplied)
Absa Premiership Trophy (Supplied)

Johannesburg - Ajax Cape Town’s victory over SuperSport United has made the relegation dogfight even more interesting.

The Urban Warriors have now dragged United, Polokwane City, Bloemfontein Celtic and Golden Arrows into the battle for survival.

For a long time, the race to avoid the drop seemed to be between Ajax and Platinum Stars. Not any more, with five more sides in danger of going down to the National First Division.

From Sunday afternoon onwards, it will be the survival of the fittest when City host Arrows at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium.

City, who have now dropped to the 15th spot following Ajax’s victory, will be hoping to use their two games in hand to overtake the Cape side and move into safety.

But Rise and Shine have not been shining lately, with the last victory coming back in January - over Mamelodi Sundowns. Since then, they have drawn five games and lost one.

They will be hoping that Rodney Ramagalela finds his scoring form again after registering his first goal since January.

After starting the season on a positive note, the wheels seem to have come off for novice coach Bernard Molekwa, who has failed to inspire confidence lately. But a victory over Arrows would go a long way in their fight for survival. City are seven points from the magic benchmark of 30, which guarantees safety. They could take a giant step towards that with victories in their next few games.

Arrows are not in a better position either, after registering only their second win last weekend. Coach Clinton Larsen has been going through a rough patch and will be hoping last weekend’s win was the turning point.

Arrows will fancy their chances when looking at City’s struggles in front of goals.

Another relegation battle is set for Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium, where Celtic welcome Ajax.

After a convincing win over United, the Cape side will be hoping to continue where they left off on Wednesday.

Muhsin Ertugral’s side should be on a high going into the game, knowing that another good showing will take them closer to safety.

Celtic have now gone six games without a win and pressure is mounting on coach Veselin Jelušic to steer them to safety.

Their problem has been at the back, where they have struggled to keep clean sheets, although they managed one against Kaizer Chiefs last weekend.

Phunya Sele Sele, who have a game in hand against Polokwane City, can jump into the top-eight bracket with victories over Ajax and Polokwane.

But it will take more than guts and determination to achieve that.

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