Baroka and CTC in top-of-the-table showdown

Baroka FC head down to the Mother City for a top-of-the-table Absa Premiership clash against Cape Town City at Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Kick-off is at 6:00pm.

Bakgaga currently lead the way in South Africa’s top division following a rip-roaring start to the campaign, but will be leapfrogged by their counterparts if they slump to defeat in the Western Cape province.

City climbed up to third place on the log standings following a 1-0 win over Free State Stars earlier this month, with victory coming on the back of successive defeats to Bloemfontein Celtic and Chippa United.

The Citizens have blown hot and cold at home so far this season, with three wins and two defeats from their five turns as hosts, but know that victory in midweek will see them climb to the Absa Premiership summit.

Baroka extended their lead atop the table with a 1-1 draw away to AmaZulu, but will be eager to return to winning ways having suffered a dip in form leading up to the international break.

The Limpopo side are unbeaten away from home so far this season, boasting three wins and two draws from five fixtures on the road.

Baroka claimed a 2-1 victory in the corresponding fixture last season and also claimed victory over their hosts in the opening round of the Telkom Knockout Cup this season. City, though, did beat their opponents 3-0 in their most recent league encounter.

Predicted Starting 11:

Cape Town City: Walters; Mkhize,Fielies, Johannes, Seedat, Nodada, Putsche, Modise, Lakay, Patosi, Obinna.

Baroka FC: Vries; Shaku, Matloga, Chawapiwa, Banda, Moeti, Kgoetyane, Motupa, Madubanya, Mdantsane, Motupa.

What They Said:

Cape Town City head coach Benni McCarthy:

“I could feel that rope tightening around my neck, like I was playing hangman. But I’m happy with the team’s effort and happy that we could get back to winning ways,” said McCarty.

“It was a massive relief, even more than when I won the biggest awards in my playing career. The six games we won earlier this season means nothing compared to the feeling I had after winning against Free State Stars.

“We’ve played good football, but just have not been able to concentrate properly, and haven’t had the desire we had in this game against Stars. And it seems our luck and fortunes have now changed.”

Baroka FC head coach Kgoloko Thobejane:

"We are there in position No 1 at the moment and there is no reason for us to be afraid,” said Thobejane.

"For us is to keep our position we have to fight with everything that we have.

"There are people who said we are keeping the umbrella for someone there at the top but it has been a few months since the league campaign started. We want the league and we are No 1.”

Key Players:

Cape Town City

Thabo Nodada: The hard working midfielder has received a lot of praise from his coach in recent weeks and rightfully so. His engine is unmatched, with his drive and stamina playing an important part in City’s success. Will be key in keeping out a hard running Baroka team, eager to keep hold of their place atop the log standings.

Ebrahim Seedat: The fullback has caught the eye with his attacking qualities as notable as his solidity in defence. Plays an integral role down the flank for City who will be eager to bang in a few goals having struggled in front of goal of late.

Baroka FC

Virgil Vries: The Namibia international has kept Baroka favourite Oscarine Masuluke firmly on the bench following a positive start to the season. The goal-minder will have to be at his best once more to keep out a determined Citizens outfit eager to dazzle their home fans.

Gift Motupa: Baroka’s main attacking outlet, all eyes will be on the on-loan Orlando Pirates man to provide the necessary spark as the Limpopo outfit eye all three points in the Mother City.