Santos going for five in a row

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The Peoples’ Team have won four on the trot since losing their first game of 2008 away to Free State Stars and coach David Bright is certainly getting the best out of his players at the moment.

Striker Eleazar Rodgers hit a brace on Tuesday to help Santos beat BidVest Wits 2-1 and continue their rise up the league table.

The Cape side sits eighth on the log, level on 31 points with Moroka Swallows and Arrows in seventh and sixth, respectively.

Such is the congested nature of the top half of the table that these two teams, both eight points adrift of Ajax Cape Town, are still in with an outside chance as far as the title race is concerned.

However, while Santos have been on the rise in recent matches, Arrows’ coach Manqoba Mngqithi will probably be looking to consolidate after losing at home to Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday afternoon.

Abafana Bes’thende have shown signs of going off the boil since a good start to the second half of the league season and this trip to Athlone, traditionally a tough place for visiting teams to pick up points, will not make things any easier.

Nonetheless, Arrows, like their opponents Santos, have grown into a fine unit over the course of the season and this promises to be an evenly balanced encounter between two well-matched teams.

In terms of head-to-head statistics, the hosts have a slight edge due to winning five of their 15 league matches since 2000/01 (Arrows have three victories) and outscoring the KwaZulu-Natal team 16 goals to 12.

Santos also claimed three points against Arrows earlier in the season, thanks to a goal from Erwin Isaacs.

LAST FIVE RESULTS:Santos:Date H/A Opponent Result04/03/08 H BidVest Wits W 2-124/02/08 H Orlando Pirates W 2-120/02/08 A Moroka Swallows W 4-117/02/08 H AmaZulu W 3-213/02/08 A Free State Stars L 1-4

Arrows:05/03/08 H Mamelodi Sundowns L 1-201/03/08 A Orlando Pirates D 0-023/02/08 H Moroka Swallows W 1-020/02/08 A AmaZulu W 1-016/02/08 H Free State Stars D 2-2

HEAD-TO-HEAD STATS:League meetings since 2000/01

2000/01Santos 1 (Otieno (pen)) Arrows 1 (Khanyile)Arrows 1 (Lakay) Santos 0

2001/02Arrows 1 (Lakay) Santos 1 (Xaba)Santos 0 Arrows 0

2002/03Arrows 1 (Khanyeza) Santos 0Santos 1 (Ithier) Arrows 0

2003/04Arrows 0 Santos 2 (Mchunu, Bantam)Santos 2 (Ithier, Bantam) Arrows 1 (Milanzi)

2004/05Santos 2 (Bantam, Isaacs) Arrows 1 (Dlamini)Arrows 1 (Chintu) Santos 0

2005/06Arrows 2 (Khanyeza, Meiring) Santos 2 (Burton, C.Scott)Santos 1 (Bantam) Arrows 1 (Smith)

2006/07Arows 1 (Meiring) Santos 1 (Rodgers)Santos 1 (Rodgers) Arrows 1 (R. Henyekane)

2007/08Arrows 0 Santos 1 (Isaacs)