PSL : Ajax host Arrows in Cape Town, Preview
Ajax Cape Town and Golden Arrows will renew their rivalry in the opening round of the 2017-18 Absa Premiership season at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday evening.
Kick-off is at 8:15pm.
Both sets of supporters have grown accustom to what is usually a roller-coaster ride, with last season now exception.
Following what was a poor start to the 2016-17 campaign, Ajax Cape Town parted ways with Roger De Sa before appointing Stanley Menzo as his successor.
The former Dutch international, who will now embark on his first full season at the club, made an immediate impact, but despite a good start to his time at the reins, the Urban Warriors were unable to secure a top eight finish as they ended in 10th place.
The Parow-based club endured a pre-season clouded by off-field troubles with Travis Graham and Rivaldo Coetzee expressing their interest to leave the club. As a result, Mosa Lebusa has been appointed as the new skipper, with the club now eager to concentrate on coming good where it matters – between the four lines on the pitch.
As for Arrows, the KwaZulu-Natal club sneaked into an eighth place finish last season, but head into the first game of the campaign without their head coach following the fireworks show in Braamfontein last weekend.
Larsen, along with Danny Phiri and Siyabonga Dube will miss the clash due to suspension, with MDC boss Vusumuzi ‘Kanu’ Vilakazi to man the sidelines.
Abafana Bes’thende, who boast a poor record in Cape Town, thus head to the southernmost tip of Africa with a point to prove, with both teams desperate to get off to a positive start.
In head-to-head terms, Ajax and Arrows have clashed in 32 league matches since 2000/01. The Urban Warriors have generally enjoyed the upper hand in the rivalry, claiming 12 wins compared to seven for the Durban side.
The Urban Warriors have a strong home record against Arrows, with eight wins, seven draws and just one loss from 16 turns as host. Last season the Cape side took four points off their Durban counterparts, winning 1-0 in the Mother City before playing out a 1-1 draw in the return game.
Predicted Starting 11:
Ajax Cape Town: Petersen; Lebusa, Coetzee, Nhlapo, Isaacs – Mdabuka, Kabwe, Margeman – Mzwakali, Mosadi, Nxumalo
Golden Arrows: Gumede; Mzava, Nonyane, Mngwengwe, Mathiane – Bilankulu, Cele, Mahachi, Jooste – Magubane, Lamola