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SWALLOWS NEWS
Big Game Looms At The Bidvest 10/04/03
It is shaping up as a title decider. Third-placed Moroka Swallows travel to the Bidvest Stadium to play first-placed Wits University on Sunday (3.30pm), hopeful of overtaking their championships rivals.

It is shaping up as a title decider. Third-placed Moroka Swallows travel to the Bidvest Stadium to play first-placed Wits University on Sunday (3.30pm), hopeful of overtaking their championships rivals.

If, at the beginning of this season, you had told either Swallows' coach Gavin Hunt or his Wits counterpart, Roger de Sa, that their sides would be challenging for league honours with just five or six games left to go, they both might have thought it all a bit fanciful.

But two of the Premier Soccer League's (PSL) bright young coaches have managed to get that extra bit of consistency out of their sides, working on a very tight budget, without being able to make major additions to their squads.

And this game could go a long way to deciding where the coveted PSL trophy will end up when Santos are forced to relinquish it come the end of May.

Wits currently top the log on 48 points from 25 games, with Orlando Pirates second on 47 points from 24 games. Swallows are tucked in just behind on 45 points from 24 games, though they will overtake the Clever Boys should they win by virtue of a better goal-difference. That is assuming the Buccaneers come unstuck at Dynamos on Saturday.

But this has not been a good week for Hunt after his Rock of Gibraltar at the back, Warren Lewis, broke his ankle in training. The 32-year-old will be out of action for six months - the stuff of nightmares as far as Hunt is concerned.

"We were just having a practice game and he went over on his ankle. The doctors later confirmed it was broken," the Birds manager said.

After the loss of Bafana Bafana star Japhet Zwane to Russian club Rostselmash in early February, he is fast running out of "Big Match" players.

Better news is the return to action of top-scorer Adam Ndluvo, who recovered this week from a groin strain. The Zimbabwean resumed training on Tuesday and will be hoping to add to his tally of six goals in the PSL.

Just how rusty this Swallows side will be remains to be seen. They have not played in the league for a month and their last outing was a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Hunt's former club Black Leopards in the Absa Cup on March 22.

One thing is for sure, they will not take comfort from memories of the reverse fixture at the Rand Stadium in November.

After Zwane had given the home side the lead, goals from Manqoba Ngwenya (2) and Leonard Carsner gave the Clever Boys a comfortable win. Ngwenya remains the dangerman for Wits with six goals this season.

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