Thursday, July 18, 2024

Intense battles in the offing as season draws to a close

With just eight (8) or less games to go before the end of the season, interesting battles continues to be fought at either end of the Botswana Premier League table.

At the top of the log, cross town rivals Gaborone United (GU) and Township Rollers are locked in a two-way race for the championship title.

The two local football giants are only separated by one point at the top, with log leaders GU however having played one game less than Rollers.

GU, under the guidance of locals Innocent Morapedi and his assistant Pontsho Moloi, has manage to accrue 54 points from 22 outings, with 17 wins, 3 draws and 2 losses.

On the other hand, Rollers, who have had a change of coaches along the way, has managed to garner 53 points from 23 outings. They have won 16, drawn 5 and lost 2.

In what is shaping up to be a closely ran title race, both the two teams dropped points this past weekend as they were held to draws. Following on Rollers draw away to Orapa United on Saturday, GU were also held to a draw by Security Systems on Sunday.

While the title is still GU’s to lose, the weekend draw against Systems means the star studded red side of Gaborone will have to constantly look over their shoulders as the finish line approaches.

At the bottom of the league log, an intense relegation battle seems on the cards. For now, four teams at the bottom, from position 13 to 16, are all in immediate danger of relegating.

Sitting at the bottom of the log, Gilport Lions have amassed 12 points from 23 outings. They are just three points behind Mahalapye Railways Highlanders who have managed just 15 points from 23 matches played.

Just above Highlanders sits Mogoditshane Fighters with 16 points from 23 games. They are tied for points with Notwane, who are sat on position 13, though having played one game less than their fellow relegation candidates.

In what is expected to be a game that may have a big bearing on the relegation fight, Notwane will play host to Highlanders at the National Stadium in Gaborone this coming weekend. A win for Notwane will see them strengthen their survival chances while a loss will see Highlanders jump over them.

Interestingly, while the four bottom sides are sure candidates for relegation, Morupule Wanderers, Masitaoka and Prisons IX, both in positions 10, 11 and 12 respectively, are not immune to relegation. With a minimum of 21 points to play for all teams involved, a slip up may see either of them drawn into the relegation battle.


Read this week's paper