MASERU —This weekend could go a long way in deciding the destiny of this year’s Vodacom Premier League crown.
The top four title chasing pack all face massive tests with none bigger than the monumental clash in Mafeteng on Sunday between log leaders LCS and fourth-placed Bantu.
Before that though Linare and LDF both face tests of their own on Saturday, examinations of character which could set a marker for the rest of what is turning out to be an enthralling premiership marathon race.
As things stand the top four sides in the league are separated by a mere two points, so close they can smell each other’s dirty socks.
Leribe’s pride, Linare, have for the first time in ages proved their title credentials as they search for a championship win since 1980, days when their coach Pitso Mosothoane was still a player.
Tse Tala are second with 36 points, one behind LCS though they have played a game more.
On Saturday Linare make the journey down to Maseru to face a Likhopo side reeling after a 2-0 loss to Maduma last time but still in the hunt for a coveted top four place.
Third-placed LDF also face a potential banana skin when they travel to much improved Lioli, also on Saturday.
Tse Nala are unbeaten in five matches since Thabile Secker took over and a feel good factor is slowly returning to Teyateyaneng.
Last weekend Lioli put the brakes on LCS’s seven-match winning rampage, holding Masheshena to a goalless draw.
On Sunday LCS, looking to get in the winning groove again, do battle with Bantu who have 35 points.
A win for A Matšo Matebele could see them leapfrog Masheshena and truly ignite their quest for the club’s first league win.
For LCS it is the beginning of a seven match run-in starting with Bantu and includes clashes with LDF, LMPS, Linare and Matlama.
At the other end of the table Butha-Buthe’s Maduma travel to Maseru for the second successive weekend to face Lerotholi at the Central Prison on Saturday.
Last weekend Maduma, the Vodacom Premier League’s surprise package this season, stunned Likhopo and they will all but secure their premiership status with another victory.
In Mazenod there is a relegation six-pointer when Swallows host Mabeoana on Saturday. Both sides have to win to maintain any realistic hopes of avoiding the dreaded drop.