All but three DSTV Premiership clubs will wrap up their 2021/2022 campaigns this weekend. Key interest will be in the battle between Cape Town City, Royal AM and Kaizer Chief for a second spot to guarantee a place in next season’s CAF Champions League.
At the other end of the log, one of the three sides, TS Galaxy, Swallows or Baroka could face the chop. Champions Mamelodi Sundowns will receive their trophy after their clash with Royal AM on Saturday afternoon.
The three bottom sides will have tough matches this weekend. The highlight will be the one between Maritzburg United and Baroka. Bakgakga have avoided defeat in their last three matches and that is the momentum they will be hoping to continue with.
Although the Teams of Choice are almost certain to compete in the Premiership next season, they will guard against dropping points. The KwaZulu-Natal side is one of the teams that will only complete their season next week.
Despite a game in hand, Ernst Middendorp’s side will be tough opposition for Baroka. “Our approach doesn’t change, Baroka is fighting for their lives, us too we have to take points and that is our focus of course with the crowd behind us. We have to utilise that we have to activate them by playing good football putting up a good performance and collect points in our last home game,” says Maritzburg United Assistant coach, Maahier Davids.
More than pride will be at stake in the Soweto derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Swallows. The Dube Birds will need extra motivation to complete the season after a dismal campaign, winning the least number of games in the league. Their final match is all about saving their status. Amakhosi have an eye on returning to the continental club competition but have left things to the last minute after an inconsistent season.
“When you look back at how we started it was promising this season though we had games which we believe we should have easily collected maximum points but we didn’t and these are the repercussions,” says Kaizer Chief Caretaker coach, Arthur Zwane.
The arrival of Eric Tinkler at Cape Town City turned around the fortunes of the club and they are on the verge of their best finish since their establishment.
It will be an even sweeter achievement should they wrap it up in the Cape derby against Stellenbosch. But Steve Barker also feels he has a lot to play for. It’s been a promising season for Stellies who are aiming to finish in the top four.
“One of the key things I want to embed in our players is consistency so to be able to follow up a great win against Sundown’s and another big performance and hopefully another positive result against Cape Town City will show that there has been that consistency,” says Stellenbosch Coach Steve Barker.
Champions Mamelodi Sundowns will lift the league trophy for a fifth successive time. They successfully defended their title with four matches remaining. After their last two disappointing results, the Brazilians will aim to finish off with a win. But they face Royal AM that will not be willing to drop points to try and finish in the top two in their debut season.