Ajax Cape Town look to end losing streak

Ajax Cape Town look to end losing streak
Grant Margeman of Ajax Cape Town gets away from Solomon Mathe of Platinum Stars during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 football match between Ajax Cape Town and Platinum Stars at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 30 April 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Jan 12, 2018. 05:58

Ajax Cape Town will be looking to arrest their losing streak in the Absa Premiership when they host Platinum Stars at Cape Town Stadium on 12 January 2018, kick-off at 20h00.

Ajax suffered a third successive league loss when they were beaten 2-1 at home by Mamelodi Sundowns on January 9. The Cape side claimed the lead thanks to Fagrie Lakay, but ‘Downs hit back through Ricardo Nascimento and Sibusiso Vilakazi to claim all three points.

The Urban Warriors have claimed just 11 points from eight home matches this season and coach Muhsin Ertugral will know that improving on this record is absolutely vital if he is to guide the team away from the relegation zone.

Stars opened 2018 on a low note as they were beaten 1-0 at home by Cape Town City on January 6. The Rustenburg side has lost two of their last three league matches and remain too close to the bottom of the log for comfort.

Dikwena have claimed just 10 points from eight away matches this season, though their last two results on the road were crucial 1-0 wins at Polokwane City and fellow strugglers Bidvest Wits in the month of December, meaning they are chasing a hat-trick of away victories.

In head-to-head stats, Ajax and Stars have met in 29 league matches since 2003/04. Tge Urban Warriors have claimed 13 wins compared to nine for Dikwena, while seven games have been drawn. The Cape team has won eight of their 14 home matches in the rivalry, suffering just two defeats in the process.

When the teams met earlier this season, Stars claimed a 1-0 home win on November 1 thanks to a second-half goal from Vuyo Mere. It was Dikwena’s first victory of the 2017/18 season and came in the midst of a six-game unbeaten run.

Ajax’s line-up from their 2-1 loss to Sundowns on January 9: Petersen, Lebusa, Booysen, Nhlapo, Kammies, Malepe, Kabwe (Takwara 46'), Losper (Phohlongo 61'), Julies, Morris, Lakay (Thabotha 74').

Stars’ line-up from their 1-0 loss to City on January 6: Visser, Mnguni, Mwedihanga, Sithole, Zulu, Masalesa (Mekoa 72’), Mere, Senne (Sesinyi 66’), Ng’ambi, Msomi, Ntuli (Koapeng 82’).

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