City chasing top five spot
CAPE Town City have won four of their last six Absa Premiership matches and another victory today at third-placed Supersport United would see the Citizens climb five places to fourth spot in the standings if other results go their way.
The Citizens have already beaten Matsatsantsa 2-0 this season when the clubs met on the opening day of the season.
If they beat United again at Lucas Moripe Stadium (8.15pm kickoff), City will pick up R1.5 million in the Premiership’s Quarterly Q-innovation award for collecting the most points in the last seven rounds.
“We want maximum points from this engagement,” said City assistant coach Vasili Manousakis.
City have made a second new signing in the January transfer window with Thato Mokeke joining from Chippa United on an 18 month deal.
The 28-year-old former Ajax Cape Town man is no stranger to City having played for them while on loan from Supersport in 2016/17, when Eric Tinkler was the coach.
“Thato is a left-footed central midfielder but he can play anywhere and will be in our matchday squad,” said Manousakis.
“We also have a new man in 28-year-old striker Kermit Erasmus who will start against United and is set to make a big impact with all the experience he’s gained over the years playing for the national team and in Europe.
“Head coach Benni (Mccarthy) expects big things from him on his return to the game after a lengthy break, and I’m sure we will see that from a player who is fit, eager and raring to make an impact.”
City need to guard against conceding goals in the first half. They’ve conceded 11 of their 19 goals in the first 45 minutes, and against a well-organised side like United, that would be courting disaster.
That said, City were able to come back from two goals down to force a 2-2 draw with high-flying Orlando Pirates, and in their final game of 2018, overturned a two-goal deficit to beat visiting Bloemfontein Celtic 3-2.
“Our defence isn’t bad, it’s just that we’ve been caught napping with our concentration levels at times and that has forced us to play catch-up,” Manousakis said.
“We’re reading nothing into our first-round win over United, who have shown themselves to be a physical lot and hard to break down, as shown by the 12 goals they’ve conceded in 15 league games.
“They have a number of danger men like Aubrey Modiba and James Keene who can trouble our last line.
“So we will need to be on our A-game to stand a chance of ending up on the right side of the result.” FORMER Kaizer Chiefs captain Cyril Nzama describes Ernst Middendorp as a good coach but believes he will really be put to the test today against Mamelodi Sundowns in an Absa Premiership tussle at FNB Stadium (3.30pm kick-off).
Nzama captained Amakhosi under the tenure of Middendorp during his first spell with the Glamour Boys.
And Middendorp is yet to taste defeat since taking over the coaching reigns from the Italian, Giovanni Solinas, at Amakhosi.
The German has registered three wins in three games. He got the better of Supersport United 1-0 in his debut match and followed that up with a 3-0