Live action from PE tonight
Posted: 4 January 2010 Time: 13:45
Local soccer fans will get a taste of live New Year’s action and a sneak preview of several World Cup stars this evening when German Bundesliga champions VFL Wolfsburg play Moroka Swallows at the NMMU South campus in Port Elizabeth.
Tonight’s match will be televised live on SuperSport 4 and for the first time an event in Port Elizabeth will be broadcast live on German television. Kick-off is at 19h00.
The German visitors are the current Bundealiga champions while the Birds are the holders of the Nedbank Cup.
Two years ago the Birds edged out Wolfsburg 1-0 in Germany. Both teams are sponsored by Volkswagen.
Port Elizabeth’s Herald newspaper reports that the Wolves, who will hold their winter break training camp in the city, arrived yesterday with a strong squad of 20 players. Fifteen are regular players in their respective national teams.
Makoto Hasebe played the full 90 minutes in the Japanese team that held Bafana Bafana to a goalless draw at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium recently.
Other players who helped their countries qualify and will be hoping to crack the nod for a place in their World Cup squads this year are Diego Benaglio (Switzerland), Peter Pekarik (Slovakia) Marcel Schaefer, Christian Gentner (Germany), Josue (Brazil), Thomas Kahlenberg (Denmark), Jonathan Santana and Ricardo Costa (Portugal), Karim Ziani (Algeria) and Obafemi Martins (Nigeria).
Swallows will use the showdown to get their PSL top eight plans back on track. That was the word from Birds assistant coach Zeca Marques yesterday.
“Playing against these German giants affords us a great opportunity of sharpening up for the last six league fixtures and make sure we finish in the top eight.
“We did not have a great 2009, but finished with a bang,” Marques said.
“The players know that they need to improve. Playing Wolfsburg affords our players a chance to pit their skills against some of the top players in Europe.
“We had an intense December when we played three matches a week.
“The players have had a 10-day break – and I believe that they will come back refreshed and fighting fit,” Marques said.