SuperSport United will aim at stretching their lead at the top of the Premiership standings, taking on Ajax Cape Town in a potentially explosive encounter at Cape Town Stadium on Friday evening.
United, though, will enter the fray wary of coach Maarten Stekelenburg’s Ajax, who will be out to prevent a third successive league loss.
“You never know what we can expect from them,” United coach Gavin Hunt said shortly before the team departed for the Cape on Thursday.
“They’ve obviously coming off losses from their last couple of games, which can make them dangerous.”
After two weeks of inactivity, United will have captain Morgan Gould and striker Kermit Erasmus back from national duty.
“Look, the preparations have been a little disastrous for us because we’re still waiting for our players to come back from other duties with the SA Development team [that travelled to Palestine] and the SA under 23s [from Algeria],” Hunt said.
“Ajax didn’t really have do to without some of their players … We have Morgan who is coming from two national matches and have to worry about whether he might be tired or not.”
Meanwhile, Ajax unveiled veteran Bafana Bafana capped defender Matthew Booth as a new signing to bolster the side’s young defence earlier in the week.
After two months of training with the team, Booth (34) finally signed on the dotted line and is likely to make his first club appearance this weekend.
Having lost the influential Clayton Daniels to Mamelodi Sundowns earlier in the season, they have struggled to contain attacks in recent matches, to complement their good attack, led by Thembinkosi Fanteni.
While they won’t have captain Granwald Scott in midfield because of injury, the Urban Warriors will be out for an improved display at their home ground where they normally bank on points.
“Booth travelled extensively in his football career, and coupled with the fact that he represented Bafana 27 times assured me that he will add the much needed experience to our back line,” Stekelenburg told the club’s website after the announcement.
The Urban Warriors will also have midfielder George Maluleka (Bafana) and forward Khama Billiat (Zimbabwe) back from midweek international duty.
Flying start for Swallows
Meanwhile at Dobsonville Stadium, third-placed Moroka Swallows take on erratic Bloemfontein Celtic, and a victory will move the Birds to second on the table while should Kaizer Chiefs lose or draw the following day.
Swallows have had a flying start to the campaign, and currently have 20 points while Celtic are in seventh place with 14 — both after 10 rounds of matches.
It was Swallows coach Gordon Igesund who introduced Celtic’s Clinton Larsen to coaching when he assisted him at Maritzburg United three seasons ago.
Larsen had played a key role for Igesund when he lifted the first of his four league titles at now defunct Manning Rangers in the inaugural 1996/97 Premiership season.
On Saturday Jomo Cosmos take on Golden Arrows at Sinaba Stadium in Daveyton, while Free State Stars tackle Platinum Stars at Goble Park in Bethlehem.
In the evening, Bidvest Wits clash with Orlando Pirates at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit while second-placed Kaizer Chiefs host Santos at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
In-form Mamelodi Sundowns, now fourth on the table, will tackle Maritzburg United at Loftus on Sunday, with Black Leopards travelling to Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban to face AmaZulu. — Sapa