Xulu in line for Russia debut

Young South African defender could make first appearance for FC Rostov
Siyanda Xulu could be in line to make his Russian Premier League debut with FC Rostov as they take on Dinamo Moscow on Sunday.

Xulu completed his transfer from Mamelodi Sundowns to Rostov last week and began training with his new teammates on Friday.  

He will be the first South African to play in Russia since Macbeth Sibaya left Rubin Kazan in 2010.

In England, Steven Pienaar will have to wait until Monday night for Everton’s home Premier League fixture against Newcastle United, but that gives him extra time to overcome the thigh strain that meant he missed Bafana Bafana’s internationals against Brazil and Mozambique.  

South African-born Andrew Surman will hope to start for Norwich City as they host West Ham United, while in the English Championship, Kagisho Dikgacoi’s Crystal Palace are away at Charlton Athletic on Friday night.

Kgosi Ntlhe’s Peterborough United have lost all four of their League games so far and travel to fellow strugglers Burnley on Saturday.

In League One, Dean Furman’s Oldham Athletic host table-topping Notts County in what will be a tough test for them.

In the Netherlands, Thulani Serero will miss Ajax Amsterdam’s game against RKC Waalwijk on Saturday after he was red carded in the 2-2 draw with Heerenveen last time out, while Kamohelo Mokotjo is still waiting to play his first minutes of the season as Feyenoord entertain PEC Zwolle  

Goalkeeper Darren Keet has been having an excellent season with Belgian top-flight side Kortrijk since gaining the number one jersey on a full-time basis, featuring the unofficial Jupiler League Team of the Season that is updated after every round of fixtures based on player ratings.

The 23-year-old will be in action on Friday night when his side host Club Brugge having won their last two matches after a slow start to the campaign. It will be a tough match though with their visitors on a run of five victories in all competitions.

Bafana right-back Anele Ngcognca is out for six or so weeks and so will be missing when Genk host Waasland-Beveren, while the injured duo of Daylon Claasen and Lance Davids are also likely to miss out on Lierse’s home clash with Anderlecht.

Ayanda Patosi and his Lokeren team travel to Cercle Brugge in need of a win after losing three of their last four in the League.

In Sweden, May Mahlangu’s Helsingborg host GIF Sundsvall on Saturday, with their League title hopes all but over. But that is not the case for compatriot Tokelo Rantie, whose Malmo side are five points off leaders Elfsborg and travel to Åtvidaberg on Monday. Rantie has netted five goals in his first three games for Malmo since joining on a 17-month loan last month.

Bongani Khumalo will hope to keep his place in the starting line-up for Greek side PAOK when they play high-flying Asteras Tripolis on Sunday. The latter have won two from two so far this season, while PAOK were beaten 1-0 by Atromitos last time out.

Dino Ndlovu is likely to miss Maccabi Haifa’s trip to Hapoel Be'er Sheva on Saturday after he dislocated his shoulder against Brazil while on national team duty last Friday.