Cape derby: All the ingredients of a thriller

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CAPE TOWN The Table Mountain recently voted as one of the seven wonders in the world will provide a perfect backdrop for todays Cape Town derby at the majestic Cape Town Stadium.

Both Ajax Cape Town and Santos have a lot to play for. The latter is fighting for survival while the former is trying to keep up with the movers in the Absa Premiership.

In an unprecedented move, the pre-match conference took place in the city centre, at the Civic Centre, rather than the Ikamva base in Parow of home team Ajax Cape Town.

Members of the public were able to listen in on the proceedings, while the Ajax squad was also down in full, signing autographs for a long line of enthusiastic fans. The match takes place tonight between an Ajax squad currently in fourth spot on the Premier Soccer League table and a Santos team in 12th spot.

In attendance were Ajax coach, Maarten Stekelenburg, captain Granwald Scott and Duncan Crowie and Tyren Arendse from Santos, while the City of Cape Town were represented by Grant Pascoe Social Development and Special Projects Mayoral Committee member.

Ajax boss, Maarten Stekelenburg echoes his sentiments. The derby is something special. I could feel in the group this morning the boys from Cape Town are looking forward to this.

Arendse believes this might be a chance to turn things around.

It was important for us to get the win over Wits last week and we go into the derby highly motivated to keep winning. The new players that have been brought into the team have made a positive impact.
Crowie, the Santos coach, is under pressure to deliver.

Ive been involved in many derbies before as a player and as a coach. Like I always say, when it comes to a derby, stats and record books do not count.

Matthew Booth has made a positive recovery from injury and could be ready to play. Scott is back from suspension, while Lebogang Manyama returns from injury. Ajax currently have former player Steven Pienaar, keeping fit as he awaits to join up with the national team.