Cape Town - It’s shaping up to be a rather dreary Christmas for Ajax Cape Town, unless they can, somehow or other, pull it together with a win over SuperSport United.
The two sides meet in a PSL fixture in Polokwane on Wednesday night (kick-off 7.30pm) - and the Cape side finds itself, as has been the situation all season, under immense pressure.
File Photo: Thulani Hlatswayo during the Ajax Cape Town media open day from Ikamva. Photo by Ashley Vlotman / Gallo Images. Credit: Gallo Images
And, not only that, statistics are also ganging up against an Ajax side low on confidence and hamstrung by injuries to key defenders. They have, in the past, battled when playing SuperSport on the road - in 13 previous fixtures, the Pretoria side has won seven, Ajax three and three draws.
Add to that, SuperSport’s ploy in taking the game to Polokwane, a city where Ajax are yet to win a match.
All of this conspires against the Capetonians, who find themselves in a painful 13th position on the PSL standings, with only 15 points from 15 games.
Good teams thrive on adversity. Tonight will reveal whether there is any fight left in this beleaguered Ajax team.
Dutch coach Jan Pruijn will have to reshuffle the starting defence as young left-back Mosa Lebusa is suspended.
Lebusa played in the 2-0 loss to Golden Arrows in Durban on Sunday, and picked up a booking resulting in a one-match ban.
His place is likely to be filled by Aidan Jenniker, who played in central defence against Arrows. The reason why Jenniker was drafted into the middle was because of the unvailability due to injury of central defenders Matthew Booth, Thulani Hlatswayo and Thato Mokeke.
Mokeke is still out, but things are looking positive for Booth and Hlatswayo.
Pruijn was happy with the progress made by the duo and will make a late call to decide which of the two will partner captain Nazeer Allie at the back.
“We have struggled away from home this season,” said Pruijn.
“And if you look at our results from last season, you will see that we also struggled on the road.
“It is a problem. It’s something I am very aware of.
“Now, we have had to play two away games in a row... Arrows last Sunday and SuperSport tonight [Wednesday].
“Most importantly, for the match against SuperSport, motivation and confidence will be important.
“It is the last fixture before the PSL takes a break and I’m hoping that we can get a good Christmas present.”