In-form Sundowns can halt Ajax's title charge

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The Brazilians have been superb on the domestic front recently, securing a place in the Cup semi-finals and winning four consecutive league games to lift themselves significantly up the table.

Ajax, though, are not the league leaders for nothing. Their 2-0 win over Orlando Pirates last week was a performance of great endeavour and character after struggling somewhat recently.

Both sides were in African club competition at the weekend but Ajax, after playing at home and with coach Craig Rosslee resting some players in their win over Mount Cameroon FC in the CAF Confederation Cup, should be fresher than Sundowns, who travelled to Omdurman in Sudan for their 4-2 loss against Al Hilal in the Champions League.

When the teams met in December last year in the first half of the season, a late goal from Ajax’s Thembinkosi Fanteni cancelled out Peter Ndlovu’s opener to leave the sides locked at 1-1.

In head-to-head statistics there is little to separate the sides. They have both won five of their 17 league meetings since 1999/2000, but Sundowns have outscored their opponents 23 goals to 18.

Sundowns:Date H/A Opponent Result22/04/08 A SuperSport United W 3-116/04/08 H Thanda Royal Zulu W 2-013/04/08 H Kaizer Chiefs W 1-019/03/08 A Black Leopards W 3-012/03/08 H Santos D 0-0

Ajax:23/04/08 H Orlando Pirates W 2-016/04/08 A Free State Stars D 1-113/04/08 A Moroka Swallows L 1-219/03/08 H Platinum Stars D 1-107/03/08 A BidVest Wits W 1-0

HEAD TO HEAD STATS:League meetings since 1999/2000:

1999/2000:Ajax 0 Sundowns 1 (T.Mnguni)Sundowns 2 (Bapela, Masilela) Ajax 0

2000/01:Ajax 2 (Permall, Mrewa) Sundowns 1 (Mudau (pen))Sundowns 3 (Semake, Mthalane 2) Ajax 2 (Mzizi, Mrewa)

2001/02:Sundowns 0 Ajax 0Ajax 2 (Ncube 2) Sundowns 1 (Mudau)

2002/03:Ajax 1 (Paulse) Sundowns 0Sundowns 1 (Chukwu) Ajax 1 (Nauseb)

2003/04:Sundowns 1 (Mashehe) Ajax 1 (Mulekelayi)Ajax 2 (Zibi, Mulekelayi) Sundowns 2 (Sebona, Sapula)

2004/05:Sundowns 4 (Mokoena, Ndlovu, Tiene, Mubiala (og)) Ajax 0Ajax 1 (Mugeyi) Sundowns 1 (Tiene)

2005/06:Ajax 0 Sundowns 2 (Torrealba, Moriri)Sundowns (S.Ndlovu) Ajax 1 (Moon)

2006/07:Sundowns 1 (Chabangu) Ajax 2 (Evans, Paulse)Ajax 2 (Moon, Ngobeni) Sundowns 1 (Moriri (pen))

2007/08:Ajax 1 (Fanteni) Sundowns 1 (Ndlovu)