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The Mother Of All Cup Clashes 31/10/03
Ajax Cape Town travel to Johannesburg to face their nemesis Kaizer Chiefs in a Coca Cola Cup quarter-final battle which promises to showcase all that is good about the local game.

The game kicks off at 16:00 at Ellis Park.

The clubs have built up an intense rivalry since they met in cup and league games which has seen a number of interesting duels taking place.

Ajax coach Gordon Igesund has a full squad to choose from, with the exception of utility player Bradley August, who is suspended.

The Urban Warriors have been a revelation this season, and a lot of the credit must go to the quartet of DRC players which Igesund signed during the off-season.

Playmaker Mulekelayi Kanku, in particular, has been in scintillating form and should pose a major threat to Chiefs on Saturday.

The return of Dillon Shepherd has also bolstered the Urban Warrior offense and even though he is still only 24, Shepherd  also brings a wealth of experience to the youthful Cape team.

The Amakhosi will be without key player Stanton Fredericks who is out on injury.

Fredericks has tormented Ajax on numerous occasions and Moeneeb Josephs has singled out his national squad team mate as a constant threat to his team.

Tinashe Nengomashe is also unavailable after having to travel to Zimbabwe after the death of his father, while Sibusiso Dlamini will also miss the game due to suspension after having accumulated three yellow cards.

Although the absence of such quality players would be a huge blow to many smaller teams, the Amakhosi have more than adequate replacements in the form of players such as Jabulani Mendu, Arthur Zwane and Davis Radebe.

Last season Chiefs won their Coke Cup semi-final game via a Fredericks goal which was scored after a controversially taken free kick by Thabo Mooki, something which Igesund has not forgotten.

"Everyone remembers the hand ball incident when Chiefs beat us, and we want revenge," he told Soccer Laduma.

Ajax did get a certain measure of revenge when they defeated Chiefs in a round two Absa Cup game 5-4 on penalties earlier this year, but Igesund won't be satisfied until they have knocked the Sowetan team out of the Coca-Cola Cup as well.

Igesund also says that his team will be out to avenge the controversial defeat which their neighbours, Santos, suffered at the hands of Chiefs in the previous round, but he also knows that his side will have to be at their best on the day to advance to the next round.

"We won't underestimate Chiefs though. Players like Zwane, Pule and Shoes can do their stuff and we need to be on our toes throughout the game, but we'll let Chiefs worry about us," the Urban Warriors mentor said.

Probable line ups:

Chiefs: Fernandez, Nzama, Mabedi, McCarthy, Kannemeyer, Zwane, Moshoeu, Mendu, Pule, Mayo, Dlamini

Ajax: Josephs, Bageta, Mubiala, Poggenpoel, Evans, Tsholola, Phiri, Ngake,  Sheppard, Kanku, Mugeyi

Players To Watch:

Chiefs: Jabu Pule has recently been called up to the national squad and his scintillating form seems to spurring the Amakhosi on to greater heights.

Ajax: Mulekelayi Kanku is fast becoming one of the top midfielders in the country and the man with the blonde streak in his hair will be vital to Ajax to set up chances for the likes of Wilfred Mugeyi and Joseph Ngake.

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