THE Castle Lager Premier Soccer League resumes this weekend after the Chibuku Super Cup semi-finals with relegation battles taking centre stage with five matches remaining to the end of the 2014 season.
After beating Hwange 2-1 at the Colliery on October 12, How Mine — who have eased their relegation woes — host down-and-out Chiredzi at Hartsfield Rugby Grounds on Friday.
It is yet to be seen if Chiredzi, who lost their last league match 0-1 to Bantu Rovers at home, will be able to travel to Bulawayo after their last match with Chapungu at Ascot in Gweru on September 27 could not be played as the Lowveld side arrived late for the game without player licences and uniforms.
Even if they are to win their last five matches, Chiredzi would end the season on 29 points while How Mine would definitely be itching for a win to be on the safe side as they sit on 32 points — only five from the relegation zone.
Second-from-the-bottom Bantu Rovers — on 21 points and also facing the chop — are up against Shabanie Mine at Hartsfield on Saturday.
Shabanie Mine are on 29 points while Chapungu are on 32 after being awarded three points from the Chiredzi match.
Black Rhinos, punched out of the Chibuku Super Cup by FC Platinum at Rufaro Stadium on Saturday are also in a bad spot with 27 points at par with Triangle. They will host Hwange at Rimuka Stadium on Saturday.
In their last league match, the army side fell 0-2 to Chicken Inn at Hartsfield. Chapungu have to plot to remain in the league after returning to the top-flight this year as they hit the road to Dynamos at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.
Another tough hurdle awaits Triangle, who host title-chasing Caps United at Gibbo Stadium on Sunday. Buffaloes — who are not safe from the axe — engage bubbling Harare City at Sakubva Stadium on Sunday.
Harare City, coming from hammering Highlanders 3-0 in the semi-final of the Chibuku Super Cup, are on 34 points while Buffaloes are on 33 points.
Friday: How Mine v Chiredzi (Hartsfield)
Saturday: Bantu Rovers v Shabanie Mine (Hartsfield), Black Rhinos v Hwange (Rimuka SS9), FC Platinum v ZPC Kariba (Mandava)
Sunday: Buffaloes v Harare City (Sakubva), Triangle v Caps United (Gibbo), Dynamos v Chapungu (Rufaro SS9), Highlanders v Chicken Inn (Hartsfield)