PSL Preview: AmaZulu v Black Leopards
AmaZulu will be looking to mathematically secure their top-flight status with a victory over Black Leopards when the sides meet at King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday.
Usuthu need two points to make absolutely sure of their safety in their last home game of the season. It will also be an opportunity to bid farewell to South African footballing legend Siyabonga "Bhele" Nomvethe, who will retire at the end of season at the ripe age of 41.
Cavin Johnson's side have only lost two games at home this season - to Chippa United and Kaizer Chiefs - and the manager was given the backing by general manager Lunga Sokhela to continue in his role next season on Wednesday.
“We have two cup finals. We’ve been very consistent at home and we want to finish on a positive note.
"We’ve got a good team and we’ve got to go out there and get three points,” Johnson said.
Meanwhile, Johnson has hailed Nomvethe for his service to South African football over the decades and wants to give 'Bhele' a fitting send-off in front of the home faithful.
“Bhele is in the 18-man squad. We want to say goodbye to Bhele at home in a right manner," said the 60-year-old.
"We wish him well in his life after football. He has been a very good servant of the game. People of KwaZulu-Natal have to take care of Nomvethe. He has done well all these years. His experience needs to be put in to use. Bhele has been a great advert for South African football."
Usuthu have no suspensions but will be without Thapelo Nyongo due to injury. They are coming off the back of a 1-0 defeat to Baroka at Peter Mokaba Stadium last Sunday.
Meanwhile, Leopards are just two points adrift of the relegation playoff place. After their 2-1 defeat to Sundowns on Tuesday evening, Dylan Kerr received high praise from Pitso Mosimane for 'bringing the spark' back to the Thohoyandou-based club.
Kerr's side have lost four of their last five games, but bear in mind Lidoda Duvha have had a nightmarish fixture list over that period - playing Orlando Pirates, Bidvest Wits, Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Maritzburg United.
And Kerr has likened their last two games against AmaZulu and Cape Town City as 'cup finals'.
“Our last two matches are cup finals and I am confident because I know the character of the players," said the English tactician.
"We do everything at training and we have not changed one little thing.
"I don’t know if we got complacent since the turn of the year after we did fairly well last year."
The last time the sides met, Leopards won 3-1 in Thohoyandou in the middle of December last year.