Ajax look to avoid hat-trick of losses

Ajax look to avoid hat-trick of losses
Prince Nxumalo of Ajax Cape Town gets to the ball had of Alfred Ndengane of Bloemfontein Celtic during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 game between Ajax Cape Town and Bloemfontein Celtic at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town on 13 May 2017 © Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Oct 20, 2017. 09:55

Ajax Cape Town will be looking to avoid a hat-trick of Absa Premiership losses when they host Bloemfontein Celtic at Athlone Stadium on 21 October 2017, kick-off at 20h15.

Ajax suffered a second straight league defeat when they went down 2-0 away to Free State Stars on October 18. It was the Cape Town side’s third loss from four away matches and a fourth defeat overall in the league this season.

The Urban Warriors will be looking to improve on a home record which has seen them pick up just four points from three matches. Their last turn as hosts was a 2-0 loss against local rivals Cape Town City prior to the recent international break.

Celtic are bang in form after recording a second successive league win: the Bloemfontein side beat Cape Town City 1-0 at the Athlone Stadium on October 17, with Kabelo Mahlasela scoring the only goal of the match.

Phunya Sele Sele are unbeaten on the road so far this season, with two wins and two draws from their four away matches. Their other victory was a 2-1 triumph over Polokwane City back in mid September.

In head-to-head stats, Ajax and Celtic have met in 30 league matches since 1999/2000. The Urban Warriors have claimed 13 wins compared to 10 for Phunya Sele Sele, while seven matches have been drawn. The Cape side has claimed 10 wins and suffered just one defeat from their 15 turns as hosts in the rivalry.

Last season Ajax completed a league ‘double’ over Celtic, winning 3-0 in Bloemfontein and 2-0 in the return game in Cape Town - Prince Nxumalo scored in both games for the Urban Warriors. The teams’ 30 league meetings have produced a total of 87 goals.

Ajax’s line-up from their 2-0 loss to Stars on October 18: Petersen, Evans, Booysen, Nhlapo, Lebusa, Pietersen, Margeman (Nemukondeni 77'), Mdabuka (Nxumalo 53'), Uzoenyi (George 65'), Mosadi, Morris.

Celtic’s line-up from their 1-0 win over CT City on October 17: Tignyemb, Pfumbidzai, Ndengane, Rikhotso, Lubisi, Hotto, Phalane (Letlabika 90+3'), Baloyi, Mahlasela (Mashikinya 88'), Nyundu, Mabena (Letsoalo 81').

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