Absa Premiership

It's blue versus red in the Mother City!

2018-01-19 22:31
Benni McCarthy (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - On Saturday afternoon, Cape Town City host Ajax Cape Town in what should be a heated local derby.

The match at the Cape Town Stadium is the fourth clash between the somewhat bitter rivals, the Citizens having won the previous three.

While Benni McCarthy's City side are well-placed in third spot on the league table, they head into Saturday's showdown on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Free State Stars last weekend.

Ajax meanwhile ended a run of three consecutive defeats by beating Platinum Stars 3-1 to climb out of the relegation zone, although they remain just one point above the now bottom-placed Dikwena.

Urban Warriors head coach Muhsin Ertugral, recently back at the club for the fourth time, has made several potentially crucial signings in the attacking department, including Tendai Ndoro, Fagrie Lakay (on loan from SuperSport) and Yannick Zakri (on loan from Sundowns).

Ertugral is especially pleased with what former Orlando Pirates marksman has brought to the team.

"He came back from Saudi Arabia very fit, scored left right and centre [in training] and immediately won the trust of the team," he said.

"I am thankful to the chairman and committee for getting me Ndoro, a player who I really wanted to have, as he will definitely add big volume to us here in terms of scoring goals.

"He will do very well for us. He is always playing at an angle that means he will keep one of the centre-backs so occupied that he will open his backline."

Meanwhile, Citizens boss, John Comitis, who departed Ajax a couple of years ago in unhappy circumstances, chose to stand in at Thursday's press conference on behalf of McCarthy, explaining that he wanted to allow his coach to avoid the media glare and focus on his duties.

Comitis admits though that the Urban Warriors team he helped found 19 years ago will be hungry for revenge.

"There's no doubt that the pressure is on," he said. "There's no doubt that we are aware that there's a lot more desire at the club there [Ajax], as it becomes something when they've never managed to beat us. We are fully aware of the challenge at hand and are by no means underestimating it.

"If you ask me to predict, I'm going to be as neutral as I can to say that it depends on the day, because the capacity on that side, on their day, can match anyone in the PSL, but I know that on such an occasion with us, we are unstoppable."

With Teko Modise back from injury for City, both teams should have a clean bill of health for the derby although Ajax are without suspended central defender Isaac Nhlapo.

Adding to the excitement and intensity will be the large home-grown contingent of players in both teams, especially Ajax.

Kick-off is at 15:30.

Read more on:    cape town city  |  ajax cape town  |  psl  |  soccer

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