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Preview - Moroka Swallows v AmaZulu


After a handful of games in the PSL only, 19-year-old Xolani Mabaso is already making an impact; showing the kind of first-time control and smooth acceleration past defenders that have already marked him as a future star.

Plucked from obscurity by ex-Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp, Mabaso was loaned out to 'Usuthu', together with stocky striker Lucky Mzizi, to get more game time at the beginning of the year.

Given a chance to play week-in-week-out, the former Chiefs development player grabbed the opportunity with both hands and so far, he has reveled in his wide midfield role.

And as his team prepares to face the in-form Moroka Swallows in a must-win Castle Premiership match at the Germiston Stadium on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3pm), Mabaso's excellent form could once again be a crucial factor for his team.

With his brilliant ball control and the ability to beat his man and deliver accurate crosses to create chance after chance for strikers, Swallows better watch out.

"We are in a precarious position so we cannot allow Swallows to beat us," said Mabaso.

He continued: "It is a huge challenge, but we can prevail. The incentives promised by the management come at the propitious time as we look to move away from the chop.

"Swallows' play is unpredictable so planning against them, especially after beating Bloemfontein Celtic at their dugout, will be difficult."

When the hordes of Swallows fans sit down at the end of the season, they will be happy in the knowledge that their team fought like soldiers in the league this term.

They might not have won any silverware, but their play has vastly improved after coach Gavin Hunt was chastised for wooing over-the-hill players at the beginning of the season.

And with the 2006/07 season drawing to a close, they have some other goals of their own they would like to achieve.

"Of course it is disappointing that we are not going to win anything this season," said Swallows winger Japhet Zwane.

"We want to finish second and play in Africa next year and that means we must beat AmaZulu. They have improved a lot - but we are not scared of them."

2006/07 Castle Premiership statistics:

Moroka Swallows:

Current league position: Second
Biggest victory: 3-1 v Celtic (a), April 7, 2007
Biggest defeat: 0-4 v BidVest Wits (h), November 8, 2006
Leading goal-scorer: Niang - Five goals (1 SAA, 3 PSL, 1 Telkom)

AmaZulu:

Current league position: 15th
Biggest victory: 3-1 v Benoni Premier United (h), April 8, 2007
Biggest defeat: 0-4 v Mamelodi Sundowns (a), January 13, 2007
Leading goal-scorer: Moshoeu - Four goals (all PSL)
 
Match preview by Patrick Baloyi/Backpagepix

NEWS
- PSL Reserve League update - 01/05/07
- 'Birds' Reserves hope to bounce back
- Maritzburg relegation woes continue
- Swallows visit Keketso Primary
- Reserve League update - 23/04/07

For more information please visit
www.vw.co.za

Friday, May 11
Castle Premiership:
Santos v Swallows
Kick-off: 8pm
Venue: Athlone Stadium

Sunday, May 20

Castle Premiership:
Swallows v SuperSport 
Kick-off: 3pm
Venue: Germiston Stadium

April 28
Castle Premiership:
Won 3-2 v Maritzburg
Venue: Germiston Stadium

April 21
Castle Premiership:
Drew 0-0 v AmaZulu
Venue: Germiston Stadium

April 8
Castle Premiership
Won 3-1 v Celtic
Venue: Seisa Ramabodu

April 1
Castle Premiership
Drew 1-1 v Chiefs
Venue: Germiston Stadium

March 11
Castle Premiership
Won 2-0 v Wits
Venue: Bidvest Stadium

March 3
Castle Premiership
Won 1-0 v Arrows
Venue: Germiston Stadium

POLL
Can Swallows maintain their second spot until the end of the season?

Yes
 87%
No
 6%
Maybe
 6%