Promotion relegation play-offs Predictions

South Africa have a few different tournaments and league finishes that differs from the rest of the world (think MTN 8), and the PSL promotion/relegation play-off is one such competition.

The play-off sees the SA Premier league team that finishes second last in the top-tier at the end of the season join a mini league with the sides that finished 2nd and 3rd in the NFD.

The uniqueness of this event can be compared to the English Premier League where three teams that finish bottom are relegated automatically.

This format gives the PSL side that is in the relegation play-of a second bite at the cherry.

This does not always translate to success for the PSL teams as they are normally demoralised, often coach-less and not in the right frame of mind for an intense, all-out battle against two hungry teams desperate to be part of the top tier. This proved the case again last campaign with Black Leopards punishing a lackluster Platinum Stars to replace them in the PSL. Stellenbosch (third on NFD log) were the unlucky team to miss out.

This play-off is enthralling to watch as the pressure is almost unbearable, due to the financial incentives and glory at stake. This tension normally means low scoring is predicted so betting on one team to score, or a stalemate is often the best wager. A safe bet is also to place a wager on the side finishing second on the NFD, as the PSL team is almost worn out with stress, injuries and a poor mental approach.

Another problem for the new side in the PSL is that the players do not have a real off-season as this competition finished two weeks later, and this puts the side under pressure off the bat when the new PSL season starts. The side can also not dabble in the transfer market with real certainty while competing in this play-off. This may mean a poor transfer off-season and more pressure on the side. This is why most teams that get promoted through the play-off are inevitably bookmaker favourites to face the drop at the end of the next campaign.