Cape Town - It might not be the biggest derby in South Africa, but over the past two seasons it has proven to be one of the most exciting.
Cape Town City host city rivals Ajax Cape Town at the Cape Town Stadium in the iKapa derby on Saturday afternoon.
In a low scoring league, the derby has always served up some goals. This fixture averages 2.25 goals per game. Like most derbies, this match has come to a point where we toss the form book out the window. City are still in contention to win the league and Ajax are still in danger of relegation. Will the Ajax Cape Town supporters be painting the city red or will Cape Town City give them the blues?
Cape Town City
Benni McCarthy began his first head coaching gig as a man on fire, winning five out of his first five games. He quickly learnt that being a coach in this league isn't easy. Cape Town City won only one of their nine games between mid-October and the beginning of December in all competitions.
Worse still, in the January transfer window, City have lost their best winger Aubrey Ngoma to Mamelodi Sundowns, their best striker Lehlohonolo Majoro to Bidvest Wits, and their best player and Captain Robyn Johannes has signed a pre-contract with Wits.
You cannot lose your best players and expect to compete in this league.
The Citizens have made signings of highly rated Kenya international forward Masoud Juma and Bradley ‘Surprise’ Ralani from Swedish club Helsingborg as the replacements for those players lost.
Bradley ‘Surprise’ Ralani. A South African player no South African knows anything about. Is a 30-year-old attacking player. All I know about him is the 1-minute video of the goals he scored in 2017 Cape Town City posted on their twitter account to convince us he is a good player.
Ajax Cape Town
The perennial underachievers of South African football have managed to put themselves in another awkward position again this year. Ajax are 13th on the table only one point off the bottom.
They fired coach Stanley Menzo just days before Christmas and hired Muhsin Ertugral for his fourth stint at the club the very next day.
They have made signings of striker Tendai Ndoro from Saudi Arabian side Al-Faisaly and Ivorian forward Yannick Zakri from Mamelodi Sundowns.
Cape Town City last five games in the Absa Premiership
LWWWD (60% WIN PERCENTAGE)
Ajax Cape Town last five games in the Absa Premiership
WLLLW (40% WIN PERCENTAGE)
BET.co.za has a Cape Town City FC win at 0.90, a draw 2.00, and an Ajax Cape Town victory 3.05.
Muhsin Ertugral's first game back in charge of the Urban Warriors saw them get beaten by league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns. Ajax, however, did have the better goalscoring chances which they didn't convert. The signing of Tendai Ndoro will surely help Ajax in the 'placing the ball in the back of the net' department which is something they have been lacking the whole season.
Muhsin Ertugral second game, with Tendai in the line-up, saw Ajax thrash fellow strugglers Platinum Stars 3-1.
Cape Town City has won three of their last four games and is four points behind log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns. Benni McCarthy has built his team from the back which makes them hard to score against. City has a solid defence but their attack is lacking.
In this game, Ajax Cape Town will score the first goal which will see Cape Town City attempt to play in a way that they aren't set up to do which will leave more gaps for the young and eager Ajax Cape Town team to exploit.
I see an Ajax Cape Town win.