Stars desperate to end losing streak

Stars desperate to end losing streak
Mpho Makola of Orlando Pirates ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Jan 26, 2018. 16:30

Platinum Stars will be desperate to end their losing streak in the Absa Premiership when they host Orlando Pirates at Royal Bafokeng Stadium on 27 January 2018, kick-off at 15h30.

Stars suffered a third straight league loss when they were beaten 3-0 at Mamelodi Sundowns on January 20. The Rustenburg side’s last victory came away to Bidvest Wits midway through last month.

Dikwena have claimed just five points from eight home matches this season. Their only three-pointer as hosts arrived back in early November when they defeated fellow strugglers Ajax Cape Town 1-0.

Pirates were unable to claim a third successive win in 2018, as they were held to a 1-1 home draw by Polokwane City on January 20. Nonetheless, a return of seven points from a possible nine in the New Year is still impressive form for the Soweto side.

The Buccaneers have claimed just 10 points from eight away matches this season, though their last game on the road brought an impressive 3-1 victory at current log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns earlier this month.

In head-to-head stats, Stars and Pirates have met in 29 league matches since 2003/04. The Buccaneers have claimed 14 wins compared to two for Dikwena, while 13 matches have been drawn. The Rustenburg side has claimed just one win from 14 home league matches in the rivalry, suffering eight defeats in the process.

When the teams met earlier this season, they played out a 1-1 draw in Soweto with goals from Thabo Matlaba and Bonginkosi Ntuli. Five of the teams’ last six league meetings have ended in draws, a sequence in which Stars are unbeaten.

Stars’ line-up from their 3-0 loss to Sundowns on January 20: Visser, Mere, Mthethwa, Sithole, Mpeta, Mekoa (De Jongh 83’), Mbatha (Ng’ambi 44’), Msomi, Mkhabela (Ntuli 46’), Rambuwane, Koapeng.

Pirates’ line-up from their 1-1 draw with Polokwane on January 20: Mabokgwane, Shitolo, Nyauza, Dube (Nkosi 67’), Maela (Foster 73’), Mobara, Nyatama, Makola, Memela, Kutumela (Lorch 56’), Shonga.

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