PSL title race goes down to the wire
AFTER giants like Real Madrid, Ajax Amsterdam and Juventus clinched their respective domestic league titles, the spotlight has now shifted to England and South Africa.
While the title race in the English Premier League is between holders Manchester United and Manchester City, it is anybody's guess in the PSL as six clubs are still in the running with two matches to play.
The curtain falls on the English Premier League on Sunday and the PSL season on May 19, but the South African champions could be decided as early as tomorrow.
Holders Orlando Pirates will retain their title with a match to spare if they beat Bloemfontein Celtic and Moroka Swallows lose, and Mamelodi Sundowns lose or draw.
Swallows, Sundowns, SuperSport United, Free State Stars and even Kaizer Chiefs are therefore hoping that Phunya SeleSele can punch a big hole in the Buccaneers ship by crushing them at Orlando Stadium.
Pirates are perched atop the standings on 52 points and they will finish on top if they win their two remaining matches.
Second-placed Swallows can ill afford any slip-ups in their remaining games as they are two points off the pace. If Swallows win their remaining two matches and Pirates lose one of theirs, the Beautiful Birds will grasp their first Premiership title with 56 points.
Downs cannot even think about a draw from their two matches as they are at the mercy of Pirates and Swallows. Johan Neeskens's side will finish on 55 points if they manage a further six points and will be crowned champions on goal difference if Pirates and Swallows finish tied with the Brazilians on points.
Sundowns enjoy a healthy 10-goal advantage over Pirates and nine-goal advantage over Swallows.
United and dark horses Stars are fourth and fifth and will both finish on 54 apiece if they reel off six points from their last two encounters.
The favourites write resurgent Amakhosi off at their peril as mathematically Chiefs can snatch the title from under their noses, though they need a number of other results to go their way. They can end up with a maximum of 52 points.
It is equally tight at the opposite end of the table where Jomo Cosmos, Santos and Black Leopards are involved in a fierce relegation dogfight. Though the odds appear to be stacked heavily against basement club Cosmos, the point they earned against AmaZulu on Wednesday could prove vital in their last-gasp survival bid.
On paper it looks far-fetched, but Cosmos can avoid straight relegation if they win their remaining three matches, and Leopards lose their last two. The nine points would see them finish on 26 points, a point ahead of Leopards.
One win for Leopards would earn Santos automatic relegation if the Cape side lost one of their two matches and Cosmos won theirs.
But this scenario would see Ezenkosi play in the relegation and promotion play-offs.
Key fixtures in fight for title and survival
AT THE TOP:
PIRATES vs Celtic (home)
vs Arrows (away)
SWALLOWS vs Platinum Stars (h)
vs Maritzburg United (a)
SUNDOWNS vs SS United (h)
vs FS Stars (h)
SS UNITED vs Sundowns (a)
vs Celtic (a)
FS STARS vs Chiefs (h)
vs Sundowns (a)
CHIEFS vs FS Stars (a)
vs AmaZulu (h)
AT THE BOTTOM:
LEOPARDS vs Cosmos (a)
vs Ajax (h)
SANTOS vs AmaZulu (a)
vs Cosmos (h)
COSMOS vs Maritzburg (h)
vs Leopards (h)
vs Santos (a)