focus shifts to the league

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Following major surprises in the Nedbank Cup last-16 round, the focus now moves back to the Absa Premiership crunch time which resumes on Friday night.

The Premiership has reached a fascinating period with the clubs at the top in a bitter fight for the R10 million first prize.

It is also a dog eat dog battle at the bottom to avoid the big chop to the First Division and feature in the Platinum playoffs.

Bottom of the table Black Leopards begin their last-ditch effort to move out of the relegation zone on Friday with a trip to Cape Town for a meeting with the in-form Santos.

The match takes place at Athlone Stadium at 8pm. It's a big challenge for Lidoda Duvha against the third-placed The People's Team, who have now gone seven games without a loss.

Dark horses Santos need a win to continue putting pressure on leaders SuperSport United and second-placed Ajax Cape Town in their quest to win the league.

Leopards have since recruited well-travelled Shepherd Murape to save their ship from sinking after the departure of Augustine Eguavoen.

Santos and Leopards are fresh from morale-boosting victories in Ke Yona, winning 3-1 and 2-0 against Moroka Swallows and Matat Professionals respectively.

Swallows are taking their game against Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday to Olympia Park in Rustenburg (3pm) where defender Vincent Kobola is predicting a win for Maswaiswai.

"We have recovered after the defeat by Santos in a game where we had no business to lose. The plan is to do well against Chiefs.

"But it will be a tough game with Chiefs also still reeling from the defeat by Mamelodi Sundowns. We will prepare thoroughly for them," said Kobola.

Also back in action are the inconsistent Orlando Pirates, who welcome relegation-threatened Jomo Cosmos at Johannesburg Stadium on Saturday at 8pm.

l Golden Arrows take on Bloemfontein Celtic, still chasing the elusive win since the return of coach Khabo Zondo, at King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday (3pm).

Still in Durban, Usuthu host Matsantsa a Pitori at Princess Magogo Stadium on Sunday at 3pm.