Ajax look to bounce back in Polokwane
Ajax Cape Town will be desperate to return to winning ways in the Absa Premiership when they travel to the Limpopo province to take on Polokwane City at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Kick-off is at 3:30pm CAT.
The Urban Warriors suffered a second successive defeat this year; going down 2-0 to Cape Town rivals Cape Town City last weekend, with Stanley Menzo's men lingering in 11th spot on the log standings.
Rise and Shine on the other hand played to a second successive 1-1 stalemate, with a 95th-minute equaliser from Sipho Jembula securing a point for the Limpopo side away to Highlands Park.
Polokwane City head coach Luc Eymael has stated the importance of their upcoming match with the club eager to retain their place within the top half of the table.
“It was finally a good point against Highlands Park, we played the better football – we played good football, unfortunately we took so long to score,” Eymael said.
“It was difficult to come back, we hit the crossbar, we showed great fighting spirit and eventually scored. We need to build on that to try and get three points against Ajax.
Eymael believes Stanley Menzo’s troops will also be out to prove a point with the Belgium-born mentor well aware of the quality within the Cape outfit.
“We have be careful as they will try to bounce back after losing two games. Ajax are a good technical team with skillful players,” Eymael added. “I think it will be an open game, let’s wait and see, but we are at home and we have to try our best get three points.
“They will try do their best to bounce back. Stanley is a big competitor, but yes we have to try and collect all three points against tough opposition."
Menzo is hoping to see an improvement in his team's defensive orginisation with Ajax Cape Town having looked very vulnerable in defence since the resumption of the league.
"Of course, if you look back the last two games - we have to show character now and what is important is that the team sticks together. After two defeats other dynamics start to happen so it is important for us to stick together, to show character," said Menzo.
"Yes Polokwane City are in the same area on the log standings as us, it won't be an easy game, they play very direct with a lot of pace. It won't be easy and I hope the weather gives us a little help.
Menzo continued: "It won't be an easy game, we spoke about the last two games - they are gone and the most important game now is the Polokwane City match.
"Yes we had chances to score, we failed to, but our defensive coordination was lacking - you can't concede seven goals in two games. We spoke about that this week, we worked on our defensive organisation and hopefully we won't make mistakes. Let's hope that we don't give any easy goals away," he concluded.
In head-to-head stats, Ajax and Polokwane have met in seven league matches since 2013/14.
The Urban Warriors have four wins compared to one for Rise and Shine, while two matches have been drawn.
Polokwane have won one of their three home league matches against Ajax, suffering two defeats in the process.
When the teams met earlier this season, they played to a 1-1 draw in Cape Town.
Polokwane have not beaten Ajax since the teams’ first meeting in the first half of the 2013/14 season.