Jonty Mark
Football Editor
1 minute read
3 May 2016
11:17 am

Wits in win-or-bust clash against Aces

Jonty Mark

It is basically win-or-bust for Bidvest Wits this evening, as they aim to keep their slim Absa Premiership title hopes alive with a visit to MP Black Aces.

The Clever Boys blew a chance to put pressure on Mamelodi Sundowns with a 1-1 draw at home to Chippa United on Saturday night, and the Brazilians’ subsequent 3-1 win over Kaizer Chiefs means the gap between the two sides at the top of the table sits at six points with three games to go.

If Wits slip up against Aces, Sundowns will have a chance to seal the title in the Tshwane derby against Tuks tomorrow evening. Then again, with the form Aces have been showing of late, Wits have to be heavy favourites to pick up three points at the Mbombela Stadium.

Muhsin Ertugral’s side have won just one of their last 11 league games, a run that has seen them slip from challenging for the title to fifth place, 20 points behind the league leaders. Aces have struggled since losing chief playmaker Lebogang Manyama to a broken toe while the goals have dried up for marksman Collins Mbesuma.

“They are a good side, they have good players, they beat us here,” warned Wits coach Gavin Hunt, however, in reference to Aces’ 2-1 win at the Bidvest Stadium on January 15. “I am always wary of those types of teams.”

Hunt is likely to recall striker James Keene for this evening’s match, after resting him for the draw against Chippa.

Keene has a knee injury – “he has 60% movement in his leg,” according to Hunt. But he has comfortably been Wits’ best striker since signing in January, netting eight league goals already.

It will be interesting to see who Ertugral picks in goal after he brought back Jackson Mabokgwane for the goalless draw against Polokwane City on Saturday. Shuaib Walters has played most of Aces’ league games this season.