Vital points on the line for Royal AM, Chiefs and Citizens

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This weekend's DStv Premiership action sees SuperSport United begin the post-Kaitano Tembo era, while AmaZulu and Maritzburg United will contest the bragging rights in a KZN derby.
AmaZulu and Maritzburg United kick things off on Saturday afternoon at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, where the hosts will be looking to continue their winning start under Brandon Truter.
Usuthu sacked Benni McCarthy last month following a poor run of results and Truter guided them to a 1-0 victory against Baroka in his first league match at the helm last week to halt a four-match winless streak.
The Durban club are seventh in the standings on 32 points, nine ahead of the 12th-placed Team of Choice, who are three games without a win after the 1-1 draw against Swallows on Wednesday.
Truter was delighted to come away with all three points against Bakgaga after admitting their Champions League exertions have taken its toll on his squad due to the amount of travelling been done.
"For us, 35 hours of travel, we couldn't even train yesterday. We still had some fatigue," he said. "Now I understand why teams take a dip after playing Champions League and coming back with the amount of traveling and having to play in 48 hours.
"It was a massive effort from the boys and I have to give all the credit to them, we have soldiers here. I'm happy, it's a first win for AmaZulu now this year."
In the other early kick-off, both Sekhukhune United and TS Galaxy will be desperate to claim the three points on offer at the Makhulong Stadium.
Babina Noko have dropped to 10th in the table after a 1-0 loss to Orlando Pirates last week extended their winless run to five outings, while the Rockets have slipped back into the relegation zone following their failure to win their last six matches.
Meanwhile, the two in-forms teams in the league go head-to-head when Cape Town City welcome Royal AM to the Cape Town Stadium.
The fifth-placed Citizens have put themselves in the mix for CAF football after a 1-0 triumph over Maritzburg made it four wins on the spin and took them within four points of Thwihli Thwahla, who beat Marumo Gallants 2-0 a week ago to go undefeated in their last seven encounters.
SuperSport United interim coach Andre Arendse will be seeking a reaction from the players when they face Kaizer Chiefs in the late kick-off at the FNB Stadium.
Arendse has taken over the reins from Tembo, who was relieved of his duties on Tuesday in the wake of Matsatsantsa's 3-2 defeat to TTM in the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals last week.
The Pretoria giants are looking to snap a four-match winless streak after they drew 1-1 with Chippa United last time out in the league and Arendse revealed the mood in the camp is positive ahead of their clash with Amakhosi.
"The one most important thing that stood out for me in our training sessions so far leading up to this game is the vibe," he said. "There's an intensity about training, there's a willingness to do things ... and what that shows me is that people are putting their hands up for starting XI selections and that's really good.
"Any coach will tell you that it's wonderful nightmare to have in terms of who to play in a specific game and I think that's the thing that will drive us this week."
Chiefs' bid for a top-two finish suffered a setback when they were held to a 0-0 draw by struggling TS Galaxy last week, which has left Stuart Baxter's side four points adrift of Royal AM in third spot.
Baxter acknowledges he is unsure of how SuperSport will respond on the pitch after Tembo's departure, but insists his focus remains firmly on getting back to winning ways.
"People usually say you don't want to play against a team that has just changed a coach because no matter what there will be an effect," he said. "Because Kaitano is both a friend and colleague, it is a shame that he had to leave his post.
"Sometimes the club benefits or doesn't benefit - the pros and cons of that one I don't know. Whether we will find a fired-up SuperSport or a SuperSport in disarray we should just concentrate on our game to be honest."
Sunday will be huge for both Swallows and Chippa United in their respective battles to avoid the drop. The Dube Bids take on Marumo Gallants at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, while the Chilli Boys host Stellenbosch at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium.
Dylan Kerr's team are perched just above the relegation zone in 14th position and tied with Galaxy on 19 points after the stalemate against Maritzburg extended their winless run to three games. Gallants come into the game on the back of successive defeats to Cape Town City (109) and Royal AM (2-0).
Chippa find themselves just three points clear of the bottom two in 13th place after going three games without a win. The Maroons beat Golden Arrows 1-0 a week ago to arrest a five-match winless sequence to close within three points of CAF football in sixth spot.

DStv Premiership fixtures:

Saturday, April 16
15h00: AmaZulu v Maritzburg United
15h00: Sekhukhune United v TS Galaxy
17h00: Cape Town City v Royal AM
19h30: Kaizer Chiefs v SuperSport United

Sunday, April 17
15h00: Marumo Gallants v Swallows
15h00: Chippa United v Stellenbosch

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Published: 04/14/2022