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Football | Absa Premiership

Ronwen Williams © Backpagepix

SuperSport, Baroka fighting for survival



SuperSport United and Baroka FC will both be fighting for Absa Premiership survival when they lock horns in their final league clash of the season at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Kick-off is at 3pm.

Both teams are languishing at the wrong end of the league table and only a win will guarantee them safety from the chop to the National First Division.

SuperSport are placed 14th on the league table with 33 points, two points above 15th placed Ajax Cape Town, who face Kaizer Chiefs on the weekend.

Baroka are placed 12th on the league table with 34 points, one point above Polokwane City in 13th place and a point above their opponents on Saturday.

A draw or a loss may be good enough for both teams in order to survive relegation, but then they will be leaving their fate in the hands of Ajax (if the Urban Warriors beat Chiefs, they will jump above both SuperSport and Baroka).

Coming into this game, SuperSport played to a third draw from their last four league matches when they were held 1-1 at Chippa United on 28 April.

Baroka, on the other hand, played to their 13th draw of the season when they were held 2-2 at home by Bloemfontein Celtic on 28 April.

Previous teams:

SuperSport’s line-up from their 1-1 draw with Chippa on April 28: Williams, Kekana, Gould, Daniels, Bhasera, Furman, Mokoena (Letsholonyane 85’), Phala (Nhlapo 77’), Modiba, Mnyamane, Rusike.

Baroka’s line-up from their 2-2 draw with Celtic on April 28: Vries, Motupa, Nguzana (Ngalande 62’), Mothupa, Kgoetyane, Banda, Mosele, Moet (Kgaswane 68’), Mabotja, Chawapiwa, Mdatsane.

Head-to-Head

ALL LEAGUE RESULTS

Season Result Scorers
2016/17 Baroka 1-1 SuperSport Matloga; Mnyamane
2016/17 SuperSport 0-1 Baroka Matlakala
2017/18 Baroka 3-1 SuperSport Nguzana, Madubanya, Mdantsane; Egwuekwe

LEAGUE RECORD (since 2016/17)

Home
P W D L GF GA

SuperSport 1 0 0 1 0 1
Baroka 2 1 1 0 4 2

Away
P W D L GF GA

SuperSport 2 0 1 1 2 4
Baroka 1 1 0 0 1 0

Total
P W D L GF GA

SuperSport 3 0 1 2 2 5
Baroka 3 2 1 0 5 2

What the teams are saying

SuperSport midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane: “We shouldn’t be in the position we are,” said Letsholonyane.

“But unfortunately that is where we find ourselves, at the wrong end of the table, and we must do everything we can in our last game to get the win.

“Everything is in our hands in the last game of the season against Baroka. We need to play for the club, for the jersey and for the SuperSport badge.

“It will not be easy against Baroka because they also need the win to guarantee their safety, but we have prepared well and are ready to fight for the three points. It is all in our hands.”

Baroka FC coach Doctor Khumalo: “You lose concentration and you pay the price. The boys have been doing that all season and that is why we are in the position we are in at present,” said Khumalo.

“The end of the game is where we have been conceding goals. That’s a critical phase and that’s the point I have been emphasising to the boys all season.

“But that is how the boys learn. Hopefully we don’t make the same mistakes against SuperSport. It is a must-win game for us and we will give everything to win the game, but it will not be easy.”

Key players for SuperSport: Ronwen Williams: The shot-stopper will be key for United on the day. It will be his job to marshal his defence well and to make vital saves when needed.

Thabo Mnyamane: The attacking player will be looked at to find the back of the net. When he is in form he can cause numerous headaches for the opposition defence with his speed and skill. He not only finds space in front of goal, but he also creates scoring chances for his teammates.

Key players for Baroka:

Virgil Vries: The Baroka keeper, much like his counterpart on the day, will be vital between the sticks. It will be his job to keep the rampant attack of SuperSport at bay. He is a fantastic shot-stopper, but at times struggles to marshal his defence – he will need to improve that on the day.

Mduduzi Mdatsane: If fit, the attacking player will cause problems for the SuperSport defence with his strength and ability to manufacture shooting space for himself. When in form he is deadly in front of goal and will hope to add to his three-goal tally on the day.



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