AmaZulu Eye Champions League, Orlando pirates need a place in Africa to restore pride
By Eshlin Vedan May 10, 2021
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DURBAN – The Premiership title race is likely to be over, save for a dramatic loss of form for leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.
Masandawana is seven points ahead of the top of the table and with his experience and class it will be the biggest surprise in PSL history if they lose the league title from where they are.
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Nevertheless, the battle for second and third place as well as the relegation battle will now intensify.
The second place, which is currently occupied by AmaZulu, secures a team entry into the CAF Champions League of the next season. This gives the teams the opportunity to compete against the top teams in Africa and at the same time receive welcome financial support.
Ambitious AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy, who has done wonders in his man management in Usuthu this season, will be on the lookout for another win as his side prepare to host tenth Baroka FC tomorrow at King Zwelethini Stadium.
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Although AmaZulu is a home game, they play outside of Jonsson Kings Park, which they have used for most home games this season.
Usuthu, who has won eight of his last nine league games, is excited about the prospect of Champions League football next season, the club’s chairmen Sandile Zungu and McCarthy indicated at a media conference in Durban last week.
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While Sundowns are likely to reassert themselves as league champions soon, finishing second will be a good letter of intent from McCarthy before a potential league challenge comes up next season.
Under pressure, Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer can try to make Pirates proud again when they play against Stellenbosch FC at the Danie Craven Stadium tomorrow.
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With the roster they have, Pirates would have hoped to challenge the league and certainly played the role after winning the MTN8 title earlier this season.
The pirates, however, were inconsistent across the league and posed no real threat to sundowns.
Given the club’s inconsistency in terms of performances, it is understandable that some fans would feel that Zinnbauer is not the right man to lead the club in the future and that a change of coach may be needed to get the club back on track to bring itself to flowering.
Keeping Pirates in good shape by the end of the season can help Zinnbauer restore fan confidence in him.
Pirates are currently fourth in the league with 42 points after 25 games, just one point behind third-placed Golden Arrows, who hold the position that qualifies a team for next season’s CAF Confederation Cup.
As they are eight points behind AmaZulu, second place will be a huge challenge for Pirates, although third place is certainly something they are capable of.