FEATURE: Who are the 2018/19 PSL relegation candidates?

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Goal takes a look at the relegation battle midway through the 2018/19 Premier Soccer League (PSL) campaign

A number of clubs find themselves on the wrong side of the PSL table and Goal explains why Free State Stars, Maritzburg United , Chippa United , Black Leopards and Baroka FC are relegation candidates.

The teams which are embroiled in the battle will have to forget about the Christmas break and plan well for the second round of the current campaign.


 MARITZBURG UNITED


Maritzburg United Fadlu Davids

The Team of Choice surprised many when they finished as runners-up in last season's Nedbank Cup, but they are now sitting 16th on the standings.

The club recently parted ways with coach Fadlu Davids with the team having recorded only one win, eight draws and five losses.

However, many would state that the team is struggling because they decided to sell top players such as Bevan Fransman and Lebohang Maboe, which has contributed immensely to their downfall this season.

These are the two players that played a massive role under Davids as they managed a top-eight finish for a second season in a row.


 FREE STATE STARS)


AFC Leopards coach Nikola Kavazovic.

Ea Lla Koto are one of the teams that had a good season in the last term, but they lost a key player and a coach.

The 2018 Nedbank Cup champions lost Siphelele Mthembu to Cape Town City at the beginning of the current season, before parting ways with Belgian coach Luc Eymael earlier this month.

The club has since now roped in former Township Rollers mentor Nikola Kavazovic, who is expected to ensure that the team retains its status in the elite league.

Stars are placed 14th on the league standings with 13 points from 15 games. Stars have lost eight, drawn four and secured three victories.


 BLACK LEOPARDS


Dylan Kerr Gor Mahia coach.

Lidoda Duvha returned to the PSL after spending a number of years in the National First Division (NFD) and they will be hoping their new coach Dylan Kerr keeps the team in the top flight league.

The Limpopo-based side started their campaign under the guidance of Joel Masutha, who is now leading Chippa United in Port Elizabeth.

They are placed 13th with on the table with 14 points resulting from as many games. Leopards have recorded three victories, seven losses and four draws.

 CHIPPA UNITED


PSL Relegation battle

The return of Dan Malesela to the Chilli Boys at the start of the season brought relief to many simply because of his belief in attractive and carpet football, but he was fired a few months into the current season.

He was replaced by another experienced mentor in Eric Tinkler, who was also not given enough time to implement his ideas and Chippa club chairman Siviwe Mpengesi opted for Masutha as caretaker coach.

Chippa are now placed 15th on the log with 12 points having registered two wins, seven losses and six draws.


 BAROKA FC


Bakgaga have been warned to learn a thing or two from Bidvest Wits, who clinched their first PSL trophy, before finding themselves embroiled in a relegation battle in the following season.

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Despite their struggles in the league, Baroka reached the 2018 Telkom Knockout Cup final where they defeated Orlando Pirates earlier this month.

Bakgaga, who are under the guidance of Zambian coach Wedson Nyirenda, are placed 12th on the table with 14 points having recorded three wins, five draws and seven losses.

 

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