Jonty Mark

By Jonty Mark

Football Editor

The race for the Top 8 – Kaizer Chiefs are clinging on but will they stay there?

It's a bun fight for the final MTN8 spot.

Mamelodi Sundowns may have already been crowned champions, but there are still plenty of other issues to decide in this season’s DStv Premiership.

One of the main questions is which teams will qualify for next season’s MTN8. Orlando Pirates and Stellenbosch, along with Sundowns, are already mathematically safe in this regard, while Sekhukhune United will also surely be fine.

Even TS Galaxy, SuperSport United and Cape Town City will have to seriously slip up if they are to miss out in the final few games of the season. But from Kaizer Chiefs down there is a major log jam, with five teams separated by just two points.

Here, Phakaaathi takes a look at those five teams and makes a prediction on who will grab that final MTN8 spot.

Kaizer Chiefs -34 points

With just two wins in 2024, it is a bit of a miracle that Kaizer Chiefs are still in the top eight. But Cavin Johnson’s side are just ahead of Polokwane City on goal difference, after both drew their matches in midweek.

Chiefs certainly have their fate in their own hands, with games against another side in the top eight mix, AmaZulu and Polokwane City coming up, before their final match of the season at Cape Town Spurs.

Chiefs could be helped if Spurs are already relegated by the time that match comes around, but they have been so unconvincing this year that it is hard to predict how their season will end.

Remaining matches

Sunday – AmaZulu (a)

May 18 – Polokwane City (h)

May 25 – Cape Town Spurs (a)

Prediction – 8th

Polokwane City – 34 points

Polokwane City missed a great chance to go two points clear of Chiefs, when they could only manage a goalless draw at home to relegation-threatened Richards Bay on Wednesday.

They do have two of their remaining games at home, against Sekhukhune and TS Galaxy, either side of that visit to Chiefs.

City will have to make sure they keep it tight at the back, however, as the season draws to a close – they have the joint worst scoring record in the league, along with the bottom two, Richards Bay and Cape Town Spurs.

Remaining Matches

Saturday – Sekhukhune United (h)

May 18 – Kaizer Chiefs (a)

May 24 – TS Galaxy (h)

Prediction – 10th

Golden Arrows – 33 points

Steve Komphela has steadied the ship a little since taking over as Golden Arrows head coach, but they are still battling to win matches – the former Sundowns coach has just two DStv Premiership wins since taking over.

There has also been a 7-1 hammering at Orlando Pirates and a 3-0 beating by Stellenbosch, but the side have also managed some impressive draws, no more so than their midfield stalemate with Mamelodi Sundowns.

The KZN side could do with six points from home games against Chippa United and Cape Town Spurs, before they visit AmaZulu for a final day derby.

Remaining matches

Sunday – Chippa United (h)

May 18 – Cape Town Spurs (h)

May 25 – AmaZulu (a)

Prediction – 9th

Chippa United – 32 points

Chippa United have had a fairly good year so far under Kwanele Kopo and Thabo September, though three consecutive league defeats have damaged their chances of making the top eight.

Sunday’s game against Arrows looks key if they are to get back on track, and while a trip to Royal AM should not cause them too much concern, a final day game at home Sekhukhune looks a tough match to have to win to make the MTN8.

Remaining matches

Sunday – Golden Arrows (a)

May 18 – Royal AM (a)

May 25 – Sekhukhune (h)

Prediction – 12th

AmaZulu – 32 points

AmaZulu got a good midweek draw at Stellenbosch, but really need wins to boost their chances of making the MTN8 next season.

Their game at home to Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday looks pivotal, and could give Pablo Franco Martin’s side just the lift they need for games at Sekhukhune and at home to Golden Arrows.

Usuthu did win at Amakhosi the last time these two sides met, in the Carling Black Label Knockout first round in October, though Chiefs hammered AmaZulu 3-0 in the first round of the league.

Remaining matches

Sunday – Kaizer Chiefs (h)

May 18 – Sekhukhune United (a)

May 25 – Golden Arrows (h)

Prediction – 11th