The Premier Soccer League has confirmed that Maritzburg United will face Orlando Pirates in Johannesburg next Wednesday, four days after the official last day of the DStv Premiership season on Saturday.
This is because Pirates have to travel to Nigeria this week for the final of the Confederation Cup against Moroccan side RS Berkane.
Bucs were initially due to host Maritzburg last weekend but that had to be postponed because of their being involved in semi-final action in the Confederation Cup on Sunday.
Had they lost the semi-final against Al Ahly Tripoli, they would likely have faced Maritzburg on Wednesday.
But now Maritzburg will still play Baroka on Saturday at Harry Gwala Stadium before their visit to Pirates next Wednesday for their last game of the season.
However, Maritzburg boss Farook Kadodia says they hope the relegation battle will be finalised on Saturday in their favour and that the Pirates clash becomes a “dead rubber”.
For that to happen, Maritzburg’s relegation rivals need to get poor results in their last matches on Saturday.
“The other way of looking at it is that if we still need a point or so after Saturday’s matches to save ourselves, then we will still have the Pirates game to possibly help us.
“Of course, the main hope is for that Pirates game to become a dead rubber for us.”
Maritzburg sit one point clear of TS Galaxy and three ahead of both Swallows and Baroka in the bottom four places of the log table.
Kadodia’s side also have a much better goal difference than their rivals and a match in hand, although it’s not a very comfortable one in terms of Orlando Pirates being the opponents and having home ground advantage, too.
Financially-troubled Swallows have to visit Chiefs for their final match, while TS Galaxy travel to much-relieved Chippa in another of the 3 pm kick-offs on Saturday before the curtain comes down on the season.
The team that finishes last in the standings will be automatically demoted to the GladAfrica Championship, while the second-last side enters the play-offs along with Tuks and Cape Town All Stars to determine the second promotion/relegation position that links the country’s two professional leagues.