Ajax seek home win against Wits

Following yet another disappointing result on the road, Ajax Cape Town will be desperate for a home victory in the Absa Premiership when they host Bidvest Wits at Athlone Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Kick-off is at 7:30pm CAT.

The Urban Warriors suffered a third loss from their last four league matches to remain in relegation danger, as they were beaten 2-1 at AmaZulu earlier this month. It was their first competitive encounter in more than a month.

For all their struggles on the road, Ajax Cape Town have performed well on home soil and have claimed 21 points from 12 matches as hosts this season. They have won their last three games as hosts in succession, defeating Platinum Stars, Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United.

Bidvest Wits stretched their unbeaten streak in the league to nine matches with a 2-1 home win over Maritzburg United. The sequence has brought the Johannesburg side a total of 21 points from a possible 27 while also dragging them well clear of the relegation zone in the process.

The Clever Boys have claimed 17 points from 11 away matches this season and have won their last three on the road. In fact, Wits are unbeaten in away games since a loss at Bloemfontein Celtic in October last year.

When the teams met earlier this season, they played to a goalless draw in Johannesburg in early December 2017. It was the first draw between the teams in a league meeting since the first half of the 2012/13 season.

Predicted Starting 11:

Ajax Cape Town: February; Lebusa, Booysen, Zwane, Nel, Margeman, Kabwe, Morris, Losper ,Lakay, Zakri.

Bidvest Wits: Keet; Hlanti, Hlatshwayo, Mkhwanazi, Frosler, Scott, Claasen, Pelembe,Myeni, Keene, Majoro.

Head-to-Head Statistics:

LAST 10 LEAGUE RESULTS

Season Result Scorers

2012/13 Ajax 0-2 Wits Chapman, Langwe

2013/14 Wits 1-0 Ajax Ngalende

2013/14 Ajax 1-0 Wits Lark

2014/15 Ajax 3-1 Wits Paulse 2 (1 pen), Dolly; Ngcobo

2014/15 Wits 4-2 Ajax Vilakazi 3, Hlatshwayo; Allie, Sadaoui (pen)

2015/16 Wits 2-1 Ajax Vilakazi, Pelembe; Mobara

2015/16 Ajax 1-0 Wits Paulse (pen)

2016/17 Ajax 1-2 Wits Chipeta; Rodgers, Ngele

2016/17 Wits 5-0 Ajax Mahlambi, Hlatshwayo, Mhango 2, Keene

2017/18 Wits 0-0 Ajax

LEAGUE RECORD (since 1999/2000)

Home

P W D L GF GA

Ajax 17 8 4 5 18 16

Wits 18 8 7 3 24 12

Away

P W D L GF GA

Ajax 18 3 7 8 12 24

Wits 17 5 4 8 16 18

Total

P W D L GF GA

Ajax 35 11 11 13 30 40

Wits 35 13 11 11 40 30

What they said:

Ajax Cape Town head coach Muhsin Ertugral

“Things are just not going our way at the moment - the ball is not bouncing in our favour, but we can’t let that get us down.

“The morale is high, we remain positive and we have to win on Wednesday - same on Sunday against a Chippa United side that have confidence following a convincing win over Kaizer Chiefs.

“We need to win against Bidvest Wits and we are fully focused on doing just that. Our record at home is good - we need to take advantage of that on Wednesday. It is vital that we pick up some sort of momentum.”

Bidvest Wits head coach Gavin Hunt

“Have you seen our goal-scoring record this year? It’s not very good, so we have to score from set-pieces, because how else are we going to score?

“Our season’s been going like that all year - wasted chances. But we battled on and I thought we got our just rewards against Maritzburg United.

“We need to be at our best again in Athlone [against Ajax Cape Town] if we are to move closer to the top eight.”

Key Players:

Ajax Cape Town

Rodrick Kabwe: The Zambia international has finally found his feet at the Cape club and scored a memorable goal in his team’s defeat to AmaZulu last week. His never-say-die attitude and set-piece quality could be key as the Urban Warriors aim to stop a rampant Bidvest Wits outfit.

Fagrie Lakay: In the continued absence of Tendai Ndoro, the duo of Yannick Zakri and Fagrie Lakay will be key if Ajax Cape Town are to escape the drop. Lakay’s pace and skill is a nightmare to deal with and the Clever Boys' defence will need to be on their toes to keep the speedster quiet.

Bidvest Wits

Daylon Claasen: The former Ajax Cape Town midfielder has come into his own at the Clever Boys over the past few months with his form key to the club turning things around in the new year. On his return to the Mother City, Claasen will be hoping to showcase the talent that earned him a move to Europe.

Lehlohonolo Majoro: The former Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and Cape Town City forward scored four goals in February to kick off his time at the club with a bang. Majoro’s arrival has come as a major boost to Gavin Hunt and his troops and he will be aiming to replicate the brace he bagged on his most recent visit to Athlone.