AmaZulu open 2018 with home clash against Chippa

AmaZulu open 2018 with home clash against Chippa
Kurt Lentjies of Chippa United during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 game between Chippa United and Mamelodi Sundowns at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth on 25 November 2017 © Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Jan 05, 2018. 06:34

AmaZulu will take on Chippa United at King Zwelithini Stadium for their first Absa Premiership clash of the New Year, on 7 January 2018, kick-off at 15h30.

AmaZulu ended off 2017 with a 1-0 away loss at Cape Town City on December 15. It was a fifth successive winless match for the Durban side, who last recorded a three-pointer when they won 2-1 at Mamelodi Sundowns on October 21.

Usuthu have lost just once at home so far this season (3-2 against Polokwane City in October), but they haven’t won a game as hosts since beating champions Bidvest Wits 3-0 in September. Their tally stands at 10 points from seven home games.

Chippa ended 2017 with back-to-back 1-0 losses at the hands of Ajax Cape Town (away) and Polokwane City (home) on December 9 and 16 respectively. The Eastern Cape side had gone 10 games unbeaten prior to their successive defeats.

The Chilli Boys have claimed seven points from as many away matches this season. Their only win on the road so far this season came against strugglers Bidvest Wits in early November, where Samuel Julies scored a brace of goals.

In head-to-head stats, AmaZulu and Chippa have met in five league matches since 2012/13. The Chilli Boys boast an unbeaten record in the sequence, with three wins and two draws. Usuthu’s two home matches in the rivalry have both ended in defeat at the hands of the Eastern Cape side.

When the teams met earlier this season, Chippa claimed a 2-0 home win thanks to goals from Moeketsi Sekola and Abel Mabaso. The Chilli Boys then went on a six-match winless streak after that, while Usuthu won just one of their next five matches.

AmaZulu’s line-up from their 1-0 loss to CT City on December 15: Pule, Gumede Ph, Gumede M, Nyongo, Sikhakhane, Ncube, Morton, Dlamini S (Ntsundwana 89'), Mnguni (Mnguni 89'), Karuru, Cele (Manzini 67`).

Chippa’s line-up from their 1-0 loss to Polokwane on December 16: Mhlongo, Thopola, Bergman, Okwuosa, Maphanga, Mvelase (Mayambela 55’), Mabaso (Lentjies 39’), Zuke, Mako, Mdlinzo, Mashego (Julies 68’).

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