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Football | Absa Premiership

Thato Mokeke © Backpagepix

Battle of the Cities in Cape Town

Cape Town City and Polokwane City will be aiming to build on their strong form in the Absa Premiership when they lock horns at Cape Town Stadium on Friday evening.

Kick-off is at 8pm CAT.

Cape Town City claimed a third win from their last four league matches when they defeated Mamelodi Sundowns 2-1 in Athlone earlier this month, thanks to goals from Kermit Erasmus and Chris David. They were the first team to hand the Brazilians an away defeat in the 2018/19 season.

The Citizens have claimed 24 points from 12 home matches this season. They are on a run of three straight wins as hosts, scoring 10 goals in this sequence.

Polokwane have gone five league matches without defeat and claimed a ninth win of the season when they defeated Golden Arrows 2-0 at home last weekend, thanks to goals from Mohammed Anas and Charlton Mashumba.

Rise and Shine have claimed 17 points from 11 away matches this season, with their last result on the road a 1-1 draw at Free State Stars.

In head-to-head stats, Polokwane and Cape Town have met in five league matches since 2016/17. The Citizens have claimed three wins compared to one for Rise and Shine. The Cape side boasts a 100 percent home record in the rivalry, winning both of their matches as hosts.

When the teams met earlier this season, at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in November 2018, Cape Town City claimed a 2-1 away win thanks to goals from Ayanda Patosi and Siphelele Mthembu.

What they said:

Cape Town City midfielder Thato Mokeke:

“I am looking forward to the match, for us it is all about getting all three points,” said Mokeke.

“That is our mindset heading into each and every game and if you look at the top of the table, it is very tight, so we need to focus on winning the match and getting maximum points.

“The team is on another standard than before. This is a good team to play. We are confident that we can get all three points on Friday, we respect Polokwane, but we will fight for all three points.”

Polokwane City head coach Jozef Vukusic:

“Let’s stay humble and on the ground,” said Vukusic.

“We know what’s our target… and it is important we keep going. We have collected seven points from three tough games [heading into the clash against Cape Town City] – including a trip to the Free State.

“Now, before the Fifa break we have a tough game against the best team in the league at the moment, Cape Town City.”

Key players

Cape Town City

Kermit Erasmus: Three goals in his last three games, the forward has played a key role in City’s success this month as they continue their push for a first league title. Rejuvenated in the Mother City, Erasmus put a penalty miss against AmaZulu behind him with three superb goals in three games and he will be eager to prove his credentials once more with another strong showing this weekend.

Thato Mokeke: Much like Erasmus, the midfielder has hit the ground running in Cape Town. Injuries to Thabo Nodada and Roland Putsche threatened to derail City’s season, but Mokeke has filled the void in midfield with a couple of man-of-the-match performances. One of the best passers in the league, Mokeke has really blossomed in what is his second stint at the club.

Polokwane City

Mohammed Anas: The Ghanaian forward has been Rise and Shine’s go-to man in recent weeks. With four goals in his last three games, Anas is a man in form and if the Limpopo side are to keep their own title hopes alive they will be counting on the striker to deliver the goods once more. His partnership with Bongile Booi could prove a handful for the City defence.

Nicholas Motloung: If Rise and Shine are to claim what would be a huge scalp on their travels, they will need a big defensive performance against a free-scoring City side. Motloung has impressed in recent weeks and he will need to put in another solid shift if City are to extend their unbeaten streak.


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