Wits get no time to take a breath


The Citizen (KZN) - - Sport - Jonty Mark

There are no thun­der­storms fore­cast for Jo­han­nes­burg this evening, which will no doubt come as a re­lief to Bid­vest Wits, who are play­ing an ab­surd game of Absa Premier­ship catch-up that never seems to quite get go­ing.

The Clever Boys could be right in the ti­tle race, or right out of it, once they have man­aged to play their four games in hand on Kaizer Chiefs, who they cur­rently trail by 15 points at the top of the ta­ble.

One of those games was sup­posed to be played last week against Black Leop­ards, but an Act of God, if you be­lieve in such, caused too much light­ning around Bid­vest Sta­dium for a match to take place.

This evening Wits will play Mar­itzburg United at Bid­vest Sta­dium, and with the out­look in the sky far clearer, they will hope to carry on the mo­men­tum from their in­cred­i­ble Ned­bank Cup win over Or­lando Pi­rates on Sun­day.

Both Mar­itzburg and Wits went all the way to penal­ties in their re­spec­tive cup en­coun­ters (Mar­itzburg beat Stel­len­bosch in the Cape), though the Team of Choice played on Fri­day, giv­ing them a cou­ple of ex­tra days rest to pre­pare.

Eric Tin­kler’s side have re­cov­ered well af­ter a shaky start to the sea­son, los­ing just three of their last 20 matches in all com­pe­ti­tions. They have also al­ready got one over Wits this sea­son, knock­ing them out on penal­ties in the first round of the Telkom Knock­out, af­ter a 1-1 draw at the end of ex­tra time in Mar­itzburg.

Wits, how­ever, have won their last five Premier­ship games against Mar­itzburg at home, and that even with a pretty dis­mal home record over­all in the last cou­ple of sea­sons.

The Team of Choice, in­deed, haven’t beaten Wits in the league, home or away, since 2014.

Wits coach Gavin Hunt will have to de­cide whether to shuf­fle his pack a bit af­ter Sun­day’s ex­ploits, with Cole Alexan­der and Gift Mo­tupa per­haps in with a chance of start­ing af­ter com­ing off the bench at Or­lando Sta­dium.

Elias Pelembe, how­ever, is sus­pended af­ter the red card he re­ceived against Pi­rates.

Pic­ture: Gallo Im­ages

NEXT STOP. Mar­itzburg United coach Eric Tin­kler is look­ing for a solid per­for­mance from his troops when they take on Bid­vest Wits in the Absa Premier­ship tonight.

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