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Football | Absa Premiership

Stanley Menzo © Backpagepix

Ajax aim to complete double over Downs

Ajax Cape Town will be desperate to ease their relegation fears by completing an Absa Premiership double over Mamelodi Sundowns when the two clash at Loftus Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Kick-off is at 7:30pm.

The Brazilians, though, have successfully bounced back from a slump in form to secure three league wins on the trot - including a convincing 5-0 win over Tshwane rivals SuperSport United.

Having reached and subsequently claimed the 2016 CAF Champions League crown, which secured their participation at the Fifa Club World Cup last December, the Brazillians have been playing catch-up in the league, in what has been an exciting title chase.

The defending champions have found their groove of late, and once again look like the team that won the championship last year and Mosimane, for one, is a happy man.

'Jingles' admits his side failed to capitalise on their games in hand, but knows all to well his team have it in them to peak at just the right moment.

"Yes, we have squandered our games in hand and that’s a fact. Those games are no longer there but we are still in the race for the championship," Mosimane said.

"We won 1-0 [vs SuperSport] and 1-0 against Free State Stars, I have no problem with winning 1-0 - if it gets to 5-0 it would be a bonus for us, but at this stage of the season three points are very vital."

Stanley Menzo on the other hand is wary of the quality within the Sundowns set-up and has highlighted that the Cape club can't afford for the game to get out of their reach.

The Urban Warriors played to a fifth draw from their last seven fixtures as they were held to a 1-1 stalemate by Golden Arrows last time out. Menzo's troops had recorded their first win of the year prior to the trip to Durban.

Four points from two games had moved Ajax Cape Town up to 10th on the log standings, but not out of relegation danger. A repeat of their 2-0 win over the same opposition in the Mother City in the reverse fixture will come as a huge relief.

"Look, they are strong on the ball, they can play a good possession game, they can create chances so for me it is important that we remain in the game - like we did in Cape Town - we must make sure we don't give away an easy goal early in the game," said Menzo.

"We have to stay in the game, make sure we don't concede early on. If we do that I am sure we will get our chances. We have talked about how we will play them because they have their strengths but every team has their weaknesses.

"Let's hope our plan works, yes we won't have 80 per cent ball possession, but the possession we have we must make sure that we create chances and capitalise on our opportunitie," the former Dutch international concluded.

Overall, the Urban Warriors boast a respectable record against Mamelodi Sundowns - they have, though, struggled on their travels to the South African capital:

In head-to-head stats, Sundowns and Ajax have met in 35 league matches since 1999/2000.

The Brazilians have claimed 13 wins compared to 11 for the Urban Warriors, while 11 matches have ended in draws.

Sundowns have won eight of their 17 home league matches against Ajax, suffering four defeats in the process.

When the teams met earlier this season, the Urban Warriors claimed a 2-0 home win in Cape Town.

Sundowns have won their last four successive home league matches against Ajax.


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