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Friday's PSL Joint Preview: Ajax Cape Town look for salvation as Maritzburg United host Bloem Celtic

11:25 GMT+3 12/01/2018
Muhsin Ertugral, Ajax Cape Town
The Urban Warriors look to plot their way out of the relegation zone, while the Team of Choice look to stop Siwelele in their tracks

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) continues on Friday evening with two intriguing clashes on offer.

In the first of two clashes, Bloemfontein Celtic will look to continue their meteoric rise this season as they take on a spirited Maritzburg United side in Pietermaritzburg.

While Phunya Sele Sele have transformed into an organised and exciting outfit with coach Veselin Jelusic at the helm, the Team of Choice can certainly not be underestimated.

Maritzburg currently have many of South Africa’s brightest prospects in their ranks and their youthful exuberance, combined with experienced heads such as Siyanda Xulu and former Siwelele defender in Bevan Fransman, they have the ability to take the bull by the horns on any given day.

However, with the previous meeting between the sides going the way of the Free State-based outfit, there could be a bit of revenge at the back of the Maritzburg players’ minds.

Following coach Maritzburg's slender 1-0 defeat in Bloemfontein, all eyes will again fall on talismanic striker Evans Rusike for goals at the Harry Gwala Stadium.

The Zimbabwean marksman is the club’s leading goalscorer with four goals this season, and his pace and skill could prove a headache or two for the likes of Lorenzo Gordinho and company.

Nonetheless, on the side of Celtic, they too also possess an attacking threat of note. Winger Deon Hotto has taken the league by storm this season as he is one of the leagues’ top assists makers, registering six assists already this season, and he will again be expected to continue his creative streak together with another influential player in Ndumiso Mabena.

With Maritzburg having won nine out of the last 23 encounters between the two sides, this clash could go either way, but what's for sure, is that fireworks are to be expected.

Meanwhile, in the second of the two encounters, all eyes will fall on the relegation battle that has ensued between Ajax Cape Town and Platinum Stars.

This clash is a proverbial six-pointer, and victory for the Urban Warriors will see them move out of the relegation zone, while for Dikwena a much-needed victory will see them move even further clear of Bidvest Wits.

However, with coach Muhsin Ertugral at the helm, Ajax have shown signs of recovery and it is only a matter of time before victories come their way.

The Mother City-based outfit most recently suffered defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns, but it was by no means a disaster, and coach Ertugral will hope to have lethal forward Tendai Ndoro up for selection as they look to overcome their recent struggles.

Stars on the other hand, will have a slight advantage going into the encounter considering that they were inactive during midweek, and following their recent defeat to Cape Town City, they will have a point to prove.

Nevertheless, with history seemingly on the side of Ajax, who have won 12 of the last 28 encounters against Dikwena, this will only add to the intrigue and premise surrounding the encounter.