Kaizer Chiefs' Caf Champions League qualification could bury Soweto rivals Swallows FC

Khama Billiat Kaizer Chiefs Jody February Swallowsbackpagepix

If Kaizer Chiefs manage to qualify for the Caf Champions League, it could come at a big price for Swallows FC.

Having sunk as far as the third-tier of South African football, much was made of a rejuvenated Swallows side last season.

But with reports of players unhappy over unpaid salaries, it's unravelled badly for the Birds over the last few months.

Now, should they fail to equal or better bottom-of-the-log Baroka FC in the final round of matches on Saturday, Swallows will be automatically relegated.

Both teams currently have 25 points, with Swallows better off on goal difference by three.

But if the Birds lose to Chiefs at the FNB Stadium on Saturday and Baroka manage to earn a point away at Maritzburg United, the Soweto side will be playing in the second-tier next season.

Another similar scenario would be Swallows managing to draw with Chiefs, but Baroka beating Maritzburg, and certainly it's been the Limpopo side which has been in better form over the last few weeks - including last weekend's win over SuperSport United, a big morale booster.

If Swallows stay where they are, 15th, they will be heading for the play-offs against AmaTuks and Cape Town All Stars.

They can however still climb to safety, but would need to beat Amakhosi and hope that TS Galaxy lose or draw to Chippa. A draw for Galaxy and a win for Swallows would see both sides on 28 points, but with the Birds enjoying a better goal difference.

No room for sentiment from Amakhosi

After an up-and-down season, Chiefs can end on a high note by claiming second spot and qualifying for next season's prestigious Caf Champions League.

The Glamour Boys (46 points, +8 goal difference) however need other results to go their way. For starters, Cape Town City (49 points, +9) must lose to Stellenbosch.

Then there is Royal AM - like Chiefs they have 46 points, but have two games left - tough matches against Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates.

Royal AM are five goals better off than Chiefs on goal difference, so if Chiefs do beat Swallows, John Maduka's side would need probably to claim three of the six points they have on offer.

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It won't be easy though for the Durban club and so for now Amakhosi are very much in contention.

The stakes couldn't be higher for both the Soweto clubs at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.