Friday night's PSL action preview: Wits and Ajax eye three points as they return to their respective PSL campaigns

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With the resumption of the PSL season, the Students and the Urban Warriors will look to plot their way away from the relegation zone

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) returns on Friday evening with two mouth-watering clashes on offer.

All eyes will fall on the bottom of the table as both Bidvest Wits and Ajax Cape Town will look for a positive result in their respective clashes as they plot the way forward away from the relegation zone.

In the first of the night’s clashes, Ajax will look to give their new coach Muhsin Ertugral something to cheer about as they lock horns with a rejuvenated Maritzburg United. The Turkish-born tactician will have his fist look at the current state of his troops since returning to the Ajax hot seat.

 Ertugral’s recent appointment has coincided with a sudden cloud of optimism which has hovered over Ajax’s training base Ikamva of late. Ajax have brought in the likes of Gerald Takwara and former Orlando Pirates hitman Tendai Ndoro in the January transfer window and they could be the answer to the Mother City-based outfit’s goal scoring woes. Ajax had only manged three goals in their previous five league encounters, and Ndoro will be expected to hit the ground running.

Meanwhile, on the side of the Team of Choice, they will be eyeing a return to winning ways. Despite Fadlu Davids’ men impressing before the festive season break, they did begin to struggle in their last two games, suffering defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns and playing out to a goalless draw against Golden Arrows. But with the team revived and refreshed following the break, Ajax will have to be wary of Maritzburg’s high-pressing game and the ever-dangerous Evans Rusike who will be looking to build on his four goals this season.

For Maritzburg though, they will need to prepare for life without influential defender Denis Weidlich who has left to join Wits. The German-born player has been a rock in Davids’ side and his presence certainly be missed.

Finally, in the night’s other action, Wits have a must-win encounter against an impressive Free State Stars. Ea Lla Koto have proven to be Wits’ bogey side of recent times and under coach Luc Eymael, Gavin Hunt will need to find a way of breaking down an organised team.

But what the Braamfontein -based outfit have in their favour is that they will have their strongest line-up for the technical team to choose from. With the signing of Edwin Gyimah and the return of Sifiso Myeni from loan, Wits might favour their chances, especially knowing that Stars are without the suspended duo of Nhlanhla Vilakazi and Patrick Phungwayo.

Nonetheless, despite Wits looking like favourites on paper, historically speaking, Stars have edged on Wits on more than one occasion. Out of a total of 28 previous meetings Stars have won 10 games while nine previous meetings have ended in draws. The most recent meeting in the league though, suggests that fans may be in for another close encounter after the reverse fixture ended in a 2-2 draw in August of 2017.


 

 

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