PSL: Ajax Cape Town v Kaizer Chiefs Preview

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Ajax Cape Town will be fighting for their lives when their battle for top-flight status comes to its final round. In their way, is a Kaizer Chiefs side pushing for a third-place finish, which would see the Glamour Boys qualify for next year’s CAF Confederations Cup.

The Urban Warriors’ fate lie in their own hands, knowing that victory would keep them in the Absa Premiership, while anything but would put them in an uncomfortable relegation/play-off scramble. For one last time this season, let’s take a look at the PSL’s biggest encounter of the weekend.

Absa Premiership
Saturday 12 May
Cape Town Stadium

15:00

To Win 
Ajax Cape Town 3/1
Draw 24/10
Kaizer Chiefs 17/20

Ajax Cape Town

Ajax Cape Town head into this clash with much to play for. Muhsin Ertugral’s side have been drawn into an unwanted relegation battle this season, but have the chance to set things straight when they host Kaizer Chiefs on the final day of the campaign.

Ajax are currently 15th on the log standings, but because of SuperSport United and Baroka FC being held to stalemates last weekend, three points would guarantee safety. It’s that simple.

The Cape-based side have enjoyed hosting Amakhosi in recent seasons, losing just once in the last seven meetings. It is about winning, however, with Ajax managing to better Chiefs on four of those occasions.

Ertugral’s men have been solid at home in recent months. They’re unbeaten in their last six games in Cape Town, winning five of those clashes, as well as keeping five clean sheets – which came in their last five matches. In that run, Ajax have beaten Orlando Pirates (3-0), SuperSport United (2-0) and last season’s champions, Bidvest Wits (1-0).

Of late, the Urban Warriors have looked to captain fantastic, Mosa Lebusa, to produce the goals. The 25-year-old, who has been linked with a move to Chiefs, has scored in back-to-back games leading up to the final day, and he’ll be looking to lead by example once again.

In my opinion, Ajax need a better spine in the team. I’m not Grant Margeman and Morne Nel’s biggest fans, especially if you have the likes of Tercious Malepe and Gerald Takwara on the bench.

Nevertheless, you cannot doubt the Urban Warriors in attack. Up front, Yannick Zakri has been a great addition to the team, netting four goals for the Cape side. With his loan spell coming to a close at the end of the month, Zakri will be hoping to bow out in style and do Ertugral’s men a favour by keeping them in SA’s top flight.

Kaizer Chiefs

Amakhosi will be gunning for a top-three finish, which would almost overshadow the disappointment by the fans, left by Steve Komphela. With Kaizer Chiefs out of the Nedbank Cup, the only way into next year’s CAF Confederations Cup would be to finish third – by matching the result of Maritzburg United or bettering it.

In his two games as interim boss, Patrick Mabedi has given us no indication of what to expect in his final game. Against Golden Arrows – a fixture he should have won – Chiefs showed no fight and no passion, almost as if Komphela was still in charge.

And then against Maritzburg United – a fixture deemed unwinnable before kick-off – Mabedi gets the best out of the team, even pulling the likes of Sibusiso Khumalo and Edmore Chirambadare out of the Kaizer Chiefs archives.

Major changes are needed at Naturena, but for now, Mabedi has to put up with what he has. Itumeleng Khune has not been his usual self, while age is starting to show for the likes of Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Eric Mathoho and Bernard Parker.

Despite being one of Chiefs’ older players, Siphiwe Tshabalala has proved that he is still key to the Soweto-based club. ‘Shabba’ has netted four times in all competitions for Amakhosi, while also providing 10 assists – most of those finding the head of Ryan Moon.

Chiefs humbled Ajax to a 1-0 defeat earlier in the season, and if they played the way they played against the Team of Choice, the Glamour Boys will fancy their chances against the division’s second worst team.

Verdict: Ajax Cape Town 3/1
Both clubs have plenty to play for – Ajax in their quest for survival and Chiefs with the CAF Confederations Cup in their sights. However, in Cape Town, Ajax have been unstoppable of late. They have a decent record at home against Chiefs and I fancy them to come out of the clash unscathed, meaning we will be seeing the red and white colours of Ajax for at least another season in the Absa Premiership.

Written by  Jesse Nagel


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