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No respite for league's strugglers

By unknown | May 09, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

The chances of Black Leopards and Thanda Royal Zulu strengthening their hopes of survival in the Absa Premiership could be dented by Santos and Lamontville Golden Arrows this weekend.

Lidoda Duvha engage Abafana Bes'thende at Thohoyandou Stadium tomorrow, while Santos confront Amabubhesi at Mpumalanga Stadium in Hammarsdale, KwaZulu-Natal, on Sunday.

Both matches kick off at 3pm.

Though it looks like it will be tough for Leopards and Royal, the two teams should take courage from the fact that they will be playing at home.

Interestingly, they are still entertaining hopes of survival but for them to fulfil their objectives they will need to pull off heroic displays in their remaining three matches.

Leopards and Royal's relegation hopes received a boost after fellow strugglers Jomo Cosmos suffered a slender but costly 0-1 defeat at the hands of Mamelodi Sundowns in Orkney on Wednesday.

But Sheppard Murape, Leopards' coach, refused to admit that Ezenkosi's setback has improved their chances of survival.

Murape, whose side collected a crucial seven points in their past three matches, has everybody available for the match after the return of Peter Mponda.

Robert Ng'ambi and Myron Shongwe could be enough to see off Manqoba Mngqithi's Arrows.

Mngqithi will bank on the likes of Kagisho Dikgacoi and Kagiso Senamela.

Royal go into the Sunday's clash still reeling from a 2-3 defeat by Leopards but the Durbanites are determined to overcome The People's Team this weekend.

"Santos are not invincible and we play with them in the same league so I don't see why it should be impossible for us to beat them," argued Thulani "Big Daddy" Mbhele, Royal's spokesman, yesterday.

The match will see Gordon Igesund calling the shots on the hosts' bench in the absence of coach Roger Palmgren and his assistant Johan Eriksson who have been suspended for the rest of the season.

Bernard Parker, Bennet Mnguni and Katleho Loke are key players for the hosts.

Major David Bright, the astute Santos mentor, will pin his hopes on the likes of Eleazar Rodgers and Mogogi Gabonamong.


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