PSL relegation dogfight: Who will go down?

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Goal takes a look at the relegation-threatened sides and identifies which team will likely be relegated from the PSL this season

The battle for survival in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) will go down to the wire this season following Saturday's results.

There is so much to play for with one more round to play next week Saturday and the bottom five teams on the PSL standings are not safe.

Baroka FC climbed up to 12th spot with 28 points despite losing 3-1 to Bidvest Wits away.

However, Bakgaga are two points above Maritzburg United, who are occupying 16th place which is the automatic relegation spot.

Chippa United, Free State Stars, Black Leopards are level on points (27) - sitting on 13th, 14th and 15th spots respectively.


Maritzburg United


Eric Tinkler, Maritzburg United

All eyes will be on the clash between Baroka and Maritzburg at the Peter Mokaba Stadium as far as the relegation battle is concerned.

The Team of Choice seem to have hit form at the right time having secured two impressive back-to-back wins against Black Leopards and SuperSport United.

Eric Tinkler's Maritzburg, who have scored five goals in their last two games, proved that they had the mental strength to pull off an away win when they defeated Leopards in Polokwane.


Baroka FC



Collins Makgaka, Baroka FC, December 2018

Baroka are struggling at home having won once in their last nine matches in their own backyard and they are most likely to suffer yet another defeat in Polokwane as Maritzburg are their bogey team.

The two teams have met five times in the league and Maritzburg have recorded four victories compared to Baroka's one.

Maritzburg, who have come out on top each time they have faced Bakgaga in Polokwane, look set to continue their dominance over their hosts.

The Team of Choice would then avoid automatic relegation to the National First Division (NFD) as they leapfrog Bakgaga, who would be hoping for favourable results elsewhere.


Chippa United


Bernard Parker of Kaizer Chiefs and Tebogo Tlolane of Chippa United, April 2019

Chippa United, who are placed 13th on the table, will play host to a Kaizer Chiefs team, who are desperate for a victory in order to secure a top-eight finish.

Amakhosi will have a psychological advantage over the Chilli Boys as they recently thumped them 4-2 in a Nedbank Cup semi-final clash.

The teams are most likely to match each other on the day and settle for a draw because there is not much to separate the two sides at the moment.

The Chilli Boys have proved that they are no pushovers against Amakhosi especially at home, and Chiefs' cup pedigree gave the Soweto giants the edge in their recent clash.

This time it will be a league game and Chippa will fancy their chances against Amakhosi, who are out of form and winless in their last four away PSL games.


Black Leopards


Phathutshedzo Nange of Black Leopards, September 2018

Black Leopards, who are sitting in 15th spot on the log, will host a Cape Town City side who are undefeated in their last four games and includes two away wins.

City could still qualify for next season's Caf Confederation Cup if they finish third and they will be looking to add to Leopards' woes with the Limpopo side having lost its last two home games.

Furthermore, Leopards are leaking goals, especially at home having conceded seven in their last five games in Thohoyandou, while City are a free-scoring side having netted eight goals in their last four games.


Free State Stars


Relegation PS

Lastly, 14th-placed Free State Stars will wrap up their campaign against title-chasing Mamelodi Sundowns, who have a very good record against the former.

The Brazilians are undefeated in their last 17 games against Ea Lla Koto having won their last three away games to the Free State side.

Sundowns will definitely come out all guns blazing as they look set to continue their dominance over Stars as this could be a title decider.


VERDICT: Free State Stars To Be Relegated Automatically


This means the team which is most likely to suffer automatic relegation would be between Stars and Leopards as they have the worst goal-differences which is -15 and -17 respectively.

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Stars and Leopards also have the league's joint worst defence (46) and the team that concedes the most goals on the day could be the one that goes down to the second tier of South African football.

The last time Ea Lla Koto kept a clean sheet at home was in October 2018 and their defence is destined to cost them the PSL status as Sundowns will be in a mood to score plenty of goals.

Sundowns are trailing current log leaders Orlando Pirates in terms of goal-difference (5 goals) and they will be looking to secure a huge win in the Free State Province.

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