The Mother City encounter will prove crucial for both teams as it could increase Santos’ chances of staying in the PSL, while a win for Chippa would bode nicely for their table ranking in the play-offs by overtaking Santos.
Both parties have already taken to the field once before in the play-off round robin, with Santos having made tracks to Richards Bay to face Neil Tovey’s Thanda Royal Zulu, while the Philippi outfit played host to the same adversaries this Saturday past.
May 23rd saw the first match of the play-offs take place when Santos made the trip up the coast to face Thanda. It was a game in which the visitors dominated and should have sealed the win within the first half, but a sole strike by Eleazar Rodgers was enough to give the People’s Team three points.
That crucial away win put Santos in the front-running of the group and they managed to maintain that lead after Chippa failed to take advantage of their home form.
The Chili Boys were pegged back by The Lions in which they played to a 1-1 draw, providing each team with a point and leaving Santos two points ahead.
With Martin Nooij’s men undoubtedly carrying the better part of the quality out of the three squads, the Lansdowne outfit are heavy favorites to come out on top and save themselves from the embarrassment of slipping down a division.
Coach Martin Nooij knows there is only one option that lies ahead of his boys: "There is only one option and that’s to win, we will do everything to stay in the Premiership.
"Since I have come in here we have played each game like a cup final and this will be another cup final as well," Nooij continued in the club’s press conference.
"We have good players, and I know they are wanted by several clubs, but that’s not interesting for us at the moment. We have to play Chippa United on Wednesday. Teams want them, but that’s not important now."
During the season Santos often proved what a fortress their home ground can be by knocking the likes of Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs off their perch and they will once again be hoping to do that when they welcome their cross-city rivals.
Courtesy: BACKPAGE MEDIA