CAPE TOWN – Cape Town City will look to end a three-game winless run in the Premier League when they play relegation-threatened Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Stadium today (8pm kickoff).
If the fifth-placed Citizens don’t beat the 15th-placed Chilli Boys, they will be out of contention for league honours.
The first meeting between the sides ended 1-1 at the Athlone Stadium.
The home side will be desperate for all the points to stay clear of bottom-placed Maritzburg United. If Chippa win they will move above Baroka FC, Black Leopards and Free State Stars into 12th spot.
Benni McCarthy knows that anything less than three points will end their bid for a maiden title, after table-toppers Orlando Pirates opened up a 12-point lead over City (53 points) following their 1-0 victory over Maritzburg on Wednesday evening.
“It’s the first of our last four fixtures for the season and we have to try and win all of them and then see where they takes us in terms of overall log position,” said McCarthy.
“A top three placing would be the goal if we fall short of the summit. As for Chippa, they will be a tough challenge when you look at where they are right now."
A shaky defence that has leaked the joint fourth-most goals (33) didn’t help City's cause, even though they are joint highest goal scorers (40) with Wits in the league.
To get the better of the Chilli Boys City must put them under pressure with a fast start and then play the attacking football they’ve become renowned for.
Siphelele Mthembu is likely to be the sole striker and the big fellow would love to get his name on the score sheet again.
“Shaka can do the business for us. He’s the target man now that Kermit Erasmus is out of the mix with a two-game ban and we want to see him add to his seven-goal tally,” said City assistant coach Vasili Manousakis.
“His ability to hold the ball up opens up space for others to run into and expose the defence. He just has to do what he was doing before his goal drought set in to make the kind of impact we know he can.”
Mike de Bruyn