HARARE – While much of the attention is pinned on the title destiny, there is an interesting relegation battle in the league.
Six teams go into the final day of the Castle Premiership knowing they face the chop at the weekend.
In one of the closest relegation battles in the league history, just as the title race, the battle to avoid relegation will be decided on the final day of championship.
Three teams – Motor Action, Tripple B, and Monomotapa – have already kissed goodbye to the Premiership and the other six teams are still battling to avoid that last relegation spot.
Shabanie Mine, Triangle, Hwange, Buffaloes, Black Mambas and Black Rhinos are all struggling.
The most important game of the relegation battle will be a clash between the army side Black Rhinos and already relegated Monomotapa. If Rhinos lose, then no other results matter in the relegation fight.
Chauya Chipembere, who returned to top-flight football this year, are sitting fourth from bottom with 37 points and even a victory in their final game may not be enough to save their Premier League status, depending on results elsewhere.
Rhinos could still survive if they beat Monomotapa while top Buffaloes, Black Mambas and Hwange who are all tied on 38 points, failed to garner maximum points in their matches.
Black Mambas face the toughest task against Dynamos while Buffaloes visit fourth-placed FC Platinum, who would want to finish on a high after a disappointing season in which they lacked consistency.
Shabanie Mine are still not guaranteed safety and they face Highlanders, who are also still in with a slim chance for the title. Luke Masomere’s men have 40 points and could be relegated if they fail to win or at least collect a point while other relegation threatened teams wins their respective matches.
Gishon Ntini’s Triangle face Chicken Inn hoping to collect maximum points. Triangle are still not guaranteed of safety as they have 39 points.
Asked how it would feel to be relegated, Rhinos assistant coach Ndega Matsika said: “We are in a tough situation. This is one game that we need to win at all costs. It’s going to be a tough though. We are in a must win situation.
“Monoz could have been relegated but they are a good team. They have good players and we need to work extra hard. It will be very disappointing to be relegated. We just need to collect the maximum points.”
Sunday: Dynamos v Black Mambas (Rufaro), Triangle v Chicken Inn (Gibbo), Tripple B v How Mine (Dulibadzimu), FC Platinum v Buffaloes (Mandava), Monomotapa v Black Rhinos (Gwanzura), Hwange v Motor Action (Colliery), CAPS United v Harare City (NSS), Highlanders v Shabanie Mine (Barbourfields).