Ajax look to claim Pirates’ scalp

Ajax look to claim Pirates’ scalp
Thabo Matlaba of Orlando Pirates evades tackle from Ndiviwe Mdabuka of Ajax Cape Town during the 2017/18 Absa Premiership football match between Orlando Pirates and Ajax Cape Town at Orlando Stadium, Johannesburg on 12 September 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Jan 30, 2018. 11:45

Ajax Cape Town will be looking to claim the scalp of Orlando Pirates when the teams meet in an Absa Premiership match at Cape Town Stadium on 31 January 2018, kick-off at 19h30.

Ajax have won just one of their last six league matches after playing to a goalless draw at home to Free State Stars on January 26. The Cape side has taken just four points from a possible 18 in the sequence and remain in the relegation zone.

The Urban Warriors have claimed 15 points from 10 home matches this season, though their last two turns as hosts have brought them four points: a 3-1 win over Platinum Stars on January 12 and then the above-mentioned stalemate with Ea Lla Koto.

Pirates claimed a fourth win from their last four matches when they defeated Platinum Stars 2-0 away from home on January 27. Since the turn of the year, the Soweto side has claimed 10 points from a possible 12.

The Buccaneers have claimed just 13 points from nine away matches this season, though their last match on the road saw them pick up an impressive 3-1 victory over log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.

In head-to-head stats, Pirates and Ajax have clashed in 37 league matches since 1999/2000. The Buccaneers have generally dominated the rivalry, claiming 21 wins and suffering just six defeats. The Cape side has won four of their 18 home matches against their Soweto counterparts, suffering seven defeats in the process.

When the teams met earlier this season, a goal from Bernard Morrison saw Pirates claim a narrow 1-0 home win back in September. The result extended Bucs’ unbeaten record against the Warriors to 13 league matches, with the Cape side’s last win in the rivalry arriving in the second half of the 2010/11 season.

Ajax’s line-up from their 0-0 draw with Stars on January 26: Petersen, Kammies, Pietersen, Booysen, Lebusa, Malepe (Mdabuka 68'), Sasman, Margeman, Julies (Morris 46'), Lakay, Zakri.

Pirates’ line-up from their 2-0 win over Stars on January 27: Mabokgwane, Shitolo (Munetsi 61’), Nyauza, Dube, Maela, Nyatama, Makola (Thopola 83’), Norodien (Kutumela 66’), Memela, Lorch, Shonga.

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