Top trio in crucial six pointers this weekend


Ajax visit struggling Jomo Cosmos, Supersport United are away to Kaizer Chiefs, while Pirates travel to Cape Town to meet Santos.

Santos will be seeking to humble another Soweto giant when they meet Bucs at Athlone Stadium on Sunday. The Cape side thrashed Moroka Swallows 4-1 at Olen Park in Potchefstroom on Wednesday afternoon to claim their second successive win under new coach David Bright.

Botswana international Mogogi Gabonamong scored a brace against the Birds, while Erwin Isaacs and Thando Mngomeni also added their names to the score sheet to seal Santos’ biggest win of the season.

But they are unlikely to find things quite as easy against championship chasing Pirates, who are on a high after celebrating their 70th birthday with a 3-1 beating of defending league champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

Excellent Walaza and Bennett Chenene continued their fine form with a goal each, while veteran Gilbert Mushangazhike showed why he is already being considered one of the best transfer window acquisitions with an instinctive finish that put Bucs beyond the Brazilians reach.

In fact, Pirates have been in superb form since the start of the second half of the season, winning three in a row to push themselves up to third in the table, five points adrift of leaders Ajax Cape Town.

However, news emerged on Pirates’ website that Teko Modise, Walaza and rising star Tshepiso Tshabalala, could not train as they still nursed knocks from Wednesday night.

The trio is scheduled to visit specialists sometime today.

Modise is experiencing “excruciating pain” to his left shoulder while Walaza seem to have aggravated a strain on his left thigh muscle.

Young Tshabalala had a session in an ice bath after taking a high tackle from Fanyana Dladla just below his left knee. He got hit just before the visitors scored their consolation goal in time added on in the first half.

Referee Daniel Bennett missed the incident as he let play continue.

Team manager Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba would not be drawn into speculating whether the trio would be ready for the trip to Cape Town.

Chiefs, who registered their first win of the second round against Wits University in midweek, will be looking to build on their 2-0 win over the Clever Boys at Loftus Stadium on Saturday evening.

The Amakhosi broke a four match winless streak with Shaun Bartlett and David Obua netting the goals.

The victory came as a relief to coach Muhsin Ertugral as the victory saw the Amakhosi move up five placesto the top half of the table.

But they will face a stern test against title contenders Supersport United, who have traditionally proved something of a bogey team for the men in gold and black.

For proof of this, one need look no further than the head-to-head record between the two teams in the league since 1992 which sees them level with 11 wins a piece in 34 meetings. Remarkably, Chiefs have not beaten Supersport in a home league fixture since 1999/2000; that’s eight seasons ago.

And with Supersport in fine form since the turn of the year - wins over Black Leopards and Thanda Royal Zulu before drawing 1-1 with Cosmos in midweek - one feels that Chiefs, who have been highly inconsistent this season, will have to produce perhaps their best performance of the season so far if they are to break their home drought against Matsatsantsa.