FOUR teams will be vying to lift the 2017 MTN/FAZ Super League title as the season comes to a sensational end this afternoon. After 37 weeks of pulsating football, it is down to the wire in the final week 38 to decide who is crowned champion. Supporters of the top four teams Zesco United, Zanaco, Green Buffaloes and Nkana will be holding their breaths while watching their teams as the matches kick off at the same time.
To add to the suspense and intrigue at the top is the battle for relegation survival at the end of the table where three teams are in a ‘swim or sink’ situation.
One the three teams – Green Eagles, Nakambala Leopards and Mufulira Wanderers – is in danger of joining Konkola Blades, Real Nakonde and City of Lusaka back to division one.
Zesco go into these fixtures on top with 71 points and must win the last game to lift the title but faces a daunting task as their opponent, ‘not-so-mighty’ Mufulira Wanderers, are looking for more than a win in this fixture to remain in the super league next year. Wanderers have the least points at 39 of the three relegation battlers and will be counting on bad luck on the part of Eagles and Nakambala, who both have two points above them to be able to survive.
With 41 points apiece, both Eagles and Nakambala will survive with victories against Buffaloes and Nchanga Rangers respectively as Wanderers can only manage 41 points in an event that they beat Zesco. But a draw for Wanderers will be victories for the two Southern Province-based teams as they can even afford to lose and remain afloat.
Should Zesco falter and Zanaco or Buffaloes win, then the title remains in Lusaka.
“It is all about focus on the job at hand. The players all know what is at stake and we have managed big games before, this is not exceptional,” said Zesco coach Tenant Chembo. Zanaco seem to have an upper hand in the title as they face Forest Rangers who have nothing but pride to fight for.
Nkana on the other hand has an outside chance of winning it and will be praying for defeats for the other three contenders to bag a record 13th league title should they win their game against demoted Blades.
Nakambala will be hoping Rangers does them a favour when they meet in Chingola to continue with life in the top flight. Power Dynamos will be playing for pride against Kabwe Warriors in Kabwe, while Lusaka Dynamos entertain NAPSA Stars.
Elsewhere, improved Lumwana end an impressive season at home when the meet Buildcon; Real Nakonde host Nkwazi, with the last game of the day being a Lusaka derby between Red Arrows and City of Lusaka.