Stars look to keep up great form

Stars look to keep up great form
Tashreeq Morris of Ajax Cape Town challenges Sinethemba Jantjie of Free State Stars during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Free State Stars and Ajax Cape Town on 18 October 2017 at Goble Park Stadium @Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Jan 19, 2018. 06:20

Free State Stars will look to keep up their great form in the Absa Premiership when they host Maritzburg United at Goble Park Stadium on 20 January 2018, kick-off at 15h30.

Stars claimed a fourth successive league win when they defeated Cape Town City 1-0 at home on January 13. The result saw the Free State side climb to second on the log, just three points adrift of log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.

Ea Lla Koto have claimed an impressive 18 points from nine home matches this season, and they have won the last four matches in which they have played host. In fact, Stars’ only loss at home was against Sundowns way back in September last year.

Maritzburg suffered their first loss of the year when they were beaten 1-0 at home by SuperSport United on January 17. The KwaZulu-Natal side will be looking to return to the form which brought them back-to-back wins over Ajax Cape Town and Bloemfontein Celtic earlier in the month.

The Team of Choice has claimed 13 points from nine away matches this season. Their last three games on the road have brought a 1-0 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns, a goalless draw with Golden Arrows and a 2-1 victory over Ajax.

In head-to-head stats, Stars and Maritzburg have met in 21 league matches since 2005/06. Ea Lla Koto have claimed eight wins compared to three for the Team of Choice, while 10 matches have been drawn. The Free State side has claimed four wins from 10 home matches in the rivalry, suffering just one defeat in the process.

When the teams met earlier this season, a lone goal from Sinethemba Jantjie saw Stars claim a 1-0 away win on September 29. Ea Lla Koto have not beaten the Team of Choice in a home match since the first half of the 2013/14 season.

Stars’ line-up from their 1-0 win over City on January 13: Sangare, Masehe, Mobbie, Keita, Phungwayo, Teyise, Makhaula (Mahamutsa 83’), Tchilimbou (Vilakazi 77’), Maphakisa (Hlubi 67’), Jantjie, Mthembu.

Maritzburg’s line-up from their 1-0 loss to SuperSport on January 17: Ofori, Sanoka, Fransman, Xulu, Ndlovu, Maboe, Makaringe, Mekoa (Atouba 84’), Shandu (Fileccia 84’), Mokate (Matima 72’), Rusike.

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