Thembela Sikhakhane of AmaZulu FC and Sinethemba Jantjie of Free State Stars FC compete for the ball during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 game between AmaZulu and Free State Stars at King Zwelithini Stadium, Durban on 19 August 2017 © Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix
Friday Feb 23, 2018. 09:05
Free State Stars will look to continue their strong form in the Absa Premiership when they host AmaZulu at Goble Park Stadium on 24 February 2018, kick-off at 20h15.
Stars held log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns to a 1-1 draw in Tshwane on February 21. The Free State side has won five of their last eight league matches to place themselves in the top four of the standings.
Ea Lla Koto have claimed 21 points from 11 home matches this season, with their last game as hosts ending in a 2-0 win over Baroka FC earlier this month.
AmaZulu saw their five-game unbeaten streak come to an end when they were beaten 2-0 at provincial rivals Maritzburg United on February 16. Prior to that defeat, the Durban side had put together a run which brought them 11 points from a possible 15 and pushed them into the top half of the table.
Usuthu have claimed just nine points from 10 away matches this season, with their defeat at Maritzburg a fifth loss on the road in the 2017/18 league season.
In head-to-head terms, AmaZulu and Stars have clashed in 48 league matches since 1986. The Free State side has claimed 19 wins compared to 17 for the Durban club, while 12 matches have been drawn. Ea Lla Koto have won 13 of their 24 home league matches in the rivalry, suffering six defeats in the process.
When the teams met earlier this season, AmaZulu claimed a 1-0 home win thanks to a late penalty from Tapelo Nyongo. Usuthu have put together a five-match unbeaten run against Ea Lla Koto in league competition.
Stars’ line-up from their 1-1 draw with Sundowns on February 21: Sangare, Masehe, Mobbie, Mahamutsa, Phungwayo, Vilakazi, Tchilimbou (Teyise 85’), Keita, Jantjie, Mthembu (Anas 67’), Relebogile (Cosse 59’).
AmaZulu’s line-up from their 2-0 loss to Maritzburg on February 16: S. Mbatha, M. Gumede, Ouro-Akoriko, Nyongo, Mabiliso, Mnguni, Darpoh (Ncobeni 58’), Ncube, Karuru, Khenyeza (Cele 73’), Nomvethe (S. Dlamini 62’).