Saturday's Joint PSL Preview: Arrows and Cape Town City in fight for top spot, Wits and Ajax searching for wins

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Golden Arrows and Cape Town City will be looking to edge each other out in fight for top spot while Bidvest Wits and Ajax Cape Town target wins

Second placed Lamontville Golden Arrows and Cape Town City will be looking to edge each other out in fight for top spot while Bidvest Wits and Ajax Cape Town target wins.

Maritzburg United vs Bidvest Wits

Maritzburg United are in for a tough battle when they take to the pitch against defending PSL champions Bidvest Wits at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday.

The Team of Choice played to a 0-0 draw in their last match away to Polokwane City to see their winless run in the league stretch to a whopping 10 matches in all competitions. This has also seen them slip further down the log standings into 13th spot with just 10 points from nine league matches.

Fadlu Davids’ charges last tasted victory when they beat Ajax Cape Town 2-0 back in August but matters have since looked bleak following their sparkling form in their opening three matches of the new campaign.

Should the Maritzburg-based outfit come away with a win, they could go as high as 10th position should results in other ties favour them.

The Clever Boys have blown hot and cold in all competitions this season and looked to have rather switch focus on cup competitions after sealing a final berth in the Telkom Knockout with a win over Kaizer Chiefs last weekend.

Gavin Hunt saw his side suffer a humiliating 2-0 defeat at the hands of Mamelodi Sundowns at home as they slipped into 16th spot, though they have a game in hand on 15th placed Platinum Stars.

The Milpark-based outfit have only collected eight points from 10 matches and look out of contention to defend their league title.

Hunt will still have to do without the services of Gabadinho Mhango as he continues to serve a 10-match ban for spitting in the face of AmaZulu midfielder Michael Morton. Amr Gamal and James Keene have both shown signs of danger in their past matches and will be looking to end their team’s disappointing league run.

There has been 20 meetings between the two sides with the visitors winning 10 ties to Maritzburg’s three with seven matches ending in draws.  

Ajax Cape Town vs AmaZulu

Relegation-threatened Ajax Cape Town eye maximum points when they welcome AmaZulu to the Athlone Stadium in a PSL showdown on Saturday.

The Urban Warriors are in a precarious position on the league standings after suffering a 1-0 defeat to bottom of the log Platinum Stars in their last league match, succumbing to a third defeat from their last four league matches.

Stanley Menzo’s men will bank on their home record this season to overcome the KwaZulu-Natal side after accumulating seven points from four encounters in front of their supporters. Their last win also came at home when they beat Bloemfontein Celtic 2-1.

Ajax have been boosted with the long-awaited return of Toriq Losper but first-choice goalkeeper Brandon Petersen, defender Tercious Malepe‚ and midfielders Ejike Uzoenyi‚ Morne Nel and Innocent Nemukondeni are still sidelined at the Cape club.

Menzo’s charges have only picked up eight points from nine matches and are in 14th place, but will hope that star striker Prince Nxumalo increases his tally of two goals by breaking his side’s drought and lift them from the danger zone.

Usuthu held Chiefs to a 0-0 draw to see their winless run in all competitions stretch to three matches despite the home side dominating the proceedings in that encounter.

Following their return to South Africa’s topflight football, Amabesh’ankone have made great progress and find themselves in ninth position with 13 points from 10 matches.

Cavin Johnson’s troops have already taken a big scalp this campaign, beating Mamelodi Sundowns 2-1 in Tshwane and will hope for a similar performance in their trip to the Mother City.

Defender Phumlani Gumede will have to watch this match from the stands after receiving two bookable offences in their match against Amakhosi.

The KwaZulu-Natal outfit were unlucky not have walked away with three points against Chiefs after Rhulani Manzini saw Itumeleng Khune save his spot kick, though the striker will put that disappointment behind him and look to add to his tally of five PSL goals.

The last time AmaZulu and Ajax clashed in a league match was during the 2014/15 season at the Cape Town Stadium with the tie ending 1-1. Ayanda Dlamini scored for the visitors with Franklin Cale getting on the scoresheet for the Urban Warriors.

Ajax hold a slight upper hand in terms of head to head record. In 20 outings, the Cape club have won eight ties to Usuthu’s six while draws have come on six occasions.

Golden Arrows vs Cape Town City

It will be second versus third when Lamontville Golden Arrows and Cape Town City fight for top spot in a PSL match at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday.

Abafana Bes'thende were fearless against Orlando Pirates in their last tie, holding the Soweto giants to a 0-0 draw in an entertaining encounter on Wednesday night.

Clinton Larsen’s team is however winless in their past seven matches in all competitions and currently occupy second spot with 16 points from 11 matches, and this tie will provide them with an opportunity to bounce back to winning ways though they will have Nkanyiso Cele out suspended for this tie.

Lerato Lamola and Kudakwashe Mahachi lead the club’s top scoring charts have not hit the back of the net regularly of late and will hope all changes when the Cape side comes to town.

The Citizens showed resilience in their match against log leaders Baroka FC as they came from a goal down to salvage a hard earned point on Tuesday night.

Benni McCarthy’s team had recorded a 1-0 win over Free State Stars in their previous tie and will have top spot in sight when they take on second-placed Arrows.

The Gold and Blue Army have made up for their dismal cup run and have picked up 16 points from 11 matches so far to sit in third spot and are only two points behind leaders Bakgaga Ga Mphahlele.

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Lehlohonolo Majoro, who is the Citizens’ top goalscorer with three strikes in 11 encounters, was dropped in their midweek match against Ea Lla Koto and it’s unclear at this stage if McCarthy will ring changes once again.

Veteran midfielder Teko Modise and Bafana Bafana right back Thamsanqa Mkhize have both stood above the rest for the Cape club. Modise has been dictating terms in the heart of the field for his side while Mkhize will be out to prove a point in front of his home supporters with his runs down the right flank.

Last season in this fixture it was Arrows that collected all three points with a 2-0 win before the Citizens won 1-0 in the reverse fixture.

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