Absa Premiership

CAF preview involving South African teams

2016-02-26 19:45
Steve Komphela (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Ajax Cape Town, Bidvest Wits, Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns will all be hopeful at progressing in their respective CAF campaigns this weekend.

All four teams are in preliminary continental action at home this weekend, and with the exception of Sundowns, hold strong positions after positive results in last week's opening CAF fixtures.

Ajax are up against Angolan outfit Sagrada Esperanca at Athlone Stadium on Saturday night in a Confederation Cup encounter (19:30 kick-off), the Urban Warriors enjoying a 2-1 advantage after last week's lengthy trip up north.

They approach the game on the back of a midweek loss to Free State Stars in the league, but have been in decent form of late, with two wins and a draw in their last four matches in all competitions.

Also playing on Saturday evening (18:00) in the Confederation Cup are Wits, who host Seychelles outfit Light Stars at Bidvest Stadium. The Clever Boys had a difficult midweek work-out in a steamy Pietermaritzburg, securing a last gasp 2-1 win over Maritzburg United.

Wits coach Gavin Hunt could even afford to rest some players, following the 3-0 win away against Light Stars last weekend; comments coming from Hunt this week suggest he will go for a blend of youth and experience, although he will definitely be without teenage striking sensation Phakamani Mahlambi, who has sustained an ACL injury.

Chiefs coach Steve Komphela could also be tempted to give some of his players a break, Amakhosi heading into Saturday night's CAF Confederation Cup game against Volcan Club de Moroni (Moses Mabhida Stadium, 19:30) with a 4-0 advantage after their trip to the Comoros last weekend.

The Glamour Boys could only manage a 1-1 draw with Polokwane City in a midweek league fixture and will be determined to go on a strong cup run on the continent after falling 10 points behind Sundowns in the league.

The most riveting action of the weekend could be in Pretoria (20:15 Saturday night), where Sundowns will be trying to overturn a 1-0 defeat against Chicken Inn in Zimbabwe last Saturday.

That loss was a first in 19 in all competitions for the Brazilians, who bounced back with a 2-1 victory over Black Aces on Wednesday to ensure a seven-point lead at the top of the domestic standings over Wits.
 
Good news too for Downs fans is that game-breaker Khama Billiat will be available after missing last weekend's game.

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Fixtures
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Free State Stars v SuperSport United, Goble Park 19:30
Mamelodi Sundowns v Maritzburg United, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 19:30
Friday, 15 December 2017
Cape Town City FC v AmaZulu FC, Cape Town Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Mamelodi Sundowns v Bloemfontein Celtic, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 15:30
Chippa United v Polokwane City, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 15:30
Free State Stars v Orlando Pirates, Goble Park 18:00
Wits v Platinum Stars, Bidvest Stadium 20:15
Kaizer Chiefs v Ajax Cape Town, Moses Mabhida Stadium 20:15
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