Absa Premiership play-offs: Everything to play for

Fagrie Lakay of Ajax Cape Town celebrates a goal with teammates Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

The PSL title has been secured by Mamelodi Sundowns, which means focus on the final day of the season on May 12 will shift to the foot of the table and the battle to avoid the relegation play-off position.

The side that finishes 15thin the South African elite league must play-off in a round-robin competition with the teams that end second and third in the National First Division.

Traditionally, things have not gone well for the top-flight side as they come up against in-form, confident teams from the division below.

In this feature, KweséESPN profile the contenders to fill this role at the end of the season:


Current position: 15th

Points and goal difference: 31 / -5

Final fixture: home vs. Kaizer Chiefs

Ajax look the most likely to finish in the play-off place, but they will know that victory over Kaizer Chiefs will see them survive give the permutations elsewhere.

Chiefs will be chasing a third-place finish in the league and ended a dismal run of results with a fine 2-0 victory over Maritzburg United last time out. However, counting in Ajax's favour is their superb home form, only Orlando Pirates have taken more points in front of their own fans than the Urban Warriors this season.


Current position: 14th

Points and goal difference: 33 / -6

Final fixture: home vs. Baroka FC

SuperSport have been surprise strugglers this season, with only Polokwane City and Platinum Stars winning fewer Absa Premiership matches than them, and only the latter netting fewer goals.

If Ajax defeat Chiefs, then a draw will not be good enough for SuperSport as they have a slightly worse goal difference and they would then have to rely on Polokwane City dropping points.

There is so much quality in this SuperSport team it is a mystery as to why they find themselves where they are, and excuses of fatigue brought on by their run to the CAF Confederation Cup final just don't wash.


Current position: 13th

Points and goal difference: 33 / -3

Final fixture: home vs. Chippa United

If Ajax beat Chiefs then a point may still be enough for Polokwane City dependent on that margin of victory, which would need to be by three clear goals to overhaul them.

City and their final-day opponents have been the 'draw kings' of the league this year with 15 each, so who would bet against another stalemate, which would likely be enough for the Limpopo club to survive.

Chippa are pushing for a top-eight place though so will be motivated to go for the win. Victory for City could also see them squeeze into the top eight, though they would need luck with four other results going their way.


Current position: 12th

Points and goal difference: 34 / -5

Final fixture: away vs. SuperSport United

If Ajax beat Chiefs and Baroka FC lose at SuperSport United, then the Urban Warriors will overhaul the Limpopo club on goal difference.

That would then leave Baroka sweating on the result between Polokwane City and Chippa United, where a point would be enough to see the former survive.

A point at SuperSport will ensure safety for Baroka, while a victory for the latter could still see them qualify for the top eight.