Hosts Wits have been a far cry from their usual selves in the league, having won just two of their 11 Absa Premiership games thus far to sit rock-bottom on 11 points.
Yet they are a team on the rise: Saturday night’s 1-0 Telkom Knockout final victory over Bloemfontein Celtic came as a timely confidence-booster, with the Students having kept four clean sheets in their previous five games as they welcomed back their trusted back-four - Nazeer Allie, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Buhle Mkhwanazi and Sifiso Hlanti - who helped them to league and MTN8 honours last season.
Three of those four cleans sheets came in the TKO however, with Wits desperate for their cup form to rub off in the league, where they’ve only won one – and lost three – of their last five matches, drawing 0-0 with Maritzburg United last time out.
Fourteenth-placed Ajax have a very similar record to their Gauteng opponents: they, too, have won just two of 11 league matches this season, have one won and lost three of their last five games. They have the same number of points as the league champions and have conceded as many goals (15) – the worst in the league.
Ajax’s away record makes for dismal reading, having won just a single point out of a possible 18 on the road so far this season. Dating back to last season, the Cape club has just one away victory to their name in 16 matches, with their last loss being last week’s 1-0 defeat to SuperSport United in Mbombela.
The Urban Warriors’ recent record at Wits doesn’t make for encouraging reading for the visitors tonight either: they’re winless there in the last five league encounters, with four losses and one draw.
Last season the Clever Boys trounced the Cape club 5-0 at home, completing the double after a 2-1 away win in Cape Town.
In the 34 league matches played between the two sides, Wits have claimed 13 wins compared to 11 for Ajax, with 10 matches drawn.
Kick-off is set for 19h30 at Bidvest Stadium.