Siphelele Mthembu's City are nine spots below the Clever Boys in 13th place on the league standings. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Siphelele Mthembu is set to lead the charge for struggling Cape Town City when they take on high-flying Bidvest Wits at Dobsonville Stadium in the PSL tomorrow (8pm kickoff).

City are nine spots below the Clever Boys in 13th place on the league standings and will have to lift their game 10-fold if they hope to come away with a share of the spoils based on recent form under new Dutch coach Jan Olde Riekerink, who is on a four-game winless run with two defeats.

Mthembu, 32, wasn’t part of the last squad that went down 1-0 at home to Chippa United. City were without star forward Kermit Erasmus and Olde Riekerink opted not to field a natural striker and paid the price.

Erasmus will miss this game as well as he is still nursing a hamstring strain, paving the way for Mthembu, who was the team’s top goalscorer last season, to show his coach he is the right man for the job if given the nod. He has been looking good at training and has scored a few goals, he so should be cherry-ripe to face a Wits side maybe a tad on the tired side after playing out a 1-1 home draw with defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns in Durban on Tuesday.

“Siphelele is strong and mobile and a very intelligent player,” said City assistant coach Vasili Manousakis

“He can win the duels with the centre-backs and can hold up the ball and give us more attacking options.”

Wings Bradley Ralani and Riyaad Norodien along with Chris David could have a say in the outcome of Friday’s match. Dutch-born David, who joined City in February this year, is over an injury that sidelined the ex-Fulham midfielder for three months. He was given game time against Chippa and did okay. “I’m good to go,” David said.

“It was important for me to heal properly so that the injury doesn’t happen again. I’m just happy to be back and looking forward to playing some games.

“The position of the team is not where we should be in. It’s been hard for us to see us not winning games. But we have a good group and enough quality to turn our season around, we just have to find a way to stick together and make sure we are going to win games again.

“We are training well, we have a new coach and we just have to follow him and the structure that he brings in.

“I think it’s (been) very positive up to now, we are doing well and the only thing that is missing is the three points.”

Mike de Bruyn