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Football | Absa Premiership

Pirates, Ajax with a point to prove



Orlando Pirates and Ajax Cape Town will have a point to prove when they lock horns in an Absa Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday evening. Kick-off is at 7:30pm CAT.

Following a disappointing 2016-17 season, the two teams from opposite ends of South Africa are desperate to bounce back and appease their demanding supporters.

The Buccaneers have claimed four points from their opening two matches of the league campaign, with a 1-0 win over Chippa United followed by an unconvincing 1-1 draw away to Baroka FC.

Pressure is already mounting on the Urban Warriors with a 1-1 draw at home to Golden Arrows followed by a 2-0 defeat away to early season log leaders Maritzburg United.

For Stanley Menzo the international break came at a good time and the former Dutch international will now be hoping that the Mother City outfit can get their season up and running, at a venue where they have find the going tough over the years.

Predicted starting 11 Pirates:Sandilands; Shitolo, Nyauza, Matlaba, Maela, Mobara,, Makola, Nyatama, Memela, Qalinge, Gabuza.

Ajax:Petersen; Isaacs, Nhlapo, Booysen, Lebusa, Mdabuka, Margeman, Kabwe, Mosadi, Makua, Nxumalo

Head-to-Head

LAST 10 LEAGUE RESULTS

Season Result Scorers
2012/13 Pirates 2-0 Ajax Myeni, Chinyama
2012/13 Ajax 2-2 Pirates Nale, Losper; Chinyama, Makola
2013/14 Pirates 2-1 Ajax Masuku, Matlaba; Scott
2013/14 Ajax 0-0 Pirates
2014/15 Pirates 4-0 Ajax Jaakkola (og), Majoro, Sangweni, Erasmus
2014/15 Ajax 2-2 Pirates Nkoana, Norodien; Erasmus, M. Masuku
2015/16 Ajax 1-2 Pirates Losper; Erasmus, Majoro
2015/16 Pirates 2-1 Ajax Coetzee (og), Myeni; Nxumalo
2016/17 Ajax 1-2 Pirates Paulse; Ndoro 2
2016/17 Pirates 0-0 Ajax

What they said:

Orlando Pirates head coach Milutin Sredojevic following their draw against Baroka:

“When taking the lead you are supposed to kill the game and punish the opposition. However, we need to pick up the pieces as we are a work in progress,” said Sredojevic.

“We will analyse what went wrong when we conceded a goal. Why we have dropped back in a situation when we could defend by playing the ball upfront and attacking and killing the game. We will go back to the drawing board and work hard to prepare for the next game against Ajax Cape Town - another tough fixture.”

Ajax Cape Town captain Mosa Lebusa:

“This is a very important run of fixtures for us, if we are able to get something out of our game against Orlando Pirates it will give us a confidence boost that should serve us well during what is set to be a busy period,” said Lebusa.

It will be a tough game, it always is in Soweto, but we have worked hard over the past few weeks and the boys are up for the challenge.

Key Players:

With Tendai Ndoro out of the picture, Orlando Pirates will look to Thamsanqa Gabuza to find the back of the net. If he is to do just that, Mpho Makola will have to be at his creative best with Musa Nyatama brought in to assist his midfield partner.

Wayne Sandilands arrival seems to have curbed their problems in goal, but the Buccaneers faithful will still be holding breath every time the ball is floated into the box with the Soweto giants boasting defensive frailties.

Ajax Cape Town face similar challenges and Mario Booysen’s arrival will come as a huge boost - especially following Rivaldo Coetzee’s move to Mamelodi Sundowns.

But if the Urban Warriors are to trouble the top eight this season they will need goals and an on form Prince Nxumalo could bring that element to the party - he, though, needs to find that form, first.



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