Pirates look to end on a high

Pirates look to end on a high
Mpho Makola of Orlando Pirates is challenged by Makhehleni Makhaula of Free State Stars players during the Absa Premiership match between Free State Stars and Orlando Pirates on 16 December 2017 at Goble Park Stadium Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday May 11, 2018. 14:00

Orlando Pirates will look to end their Absa Premiership season on a high when they host Free State Stars at Orlando Stadium on 12 May 2018, kick-off at 15h00.

Pirates’ hopes of winning the league title were dashed in the previous round of matches, both by Mamelodi Sundowns’ victory over Ajax Cape Town and their own 1-0 loss to Cape Town City on April 28 – the defeat was their first in the league since late January.

The Buccaneers have claimed 29 points from 14 home matches this season, with their last result as hosts a 4-0 win over Bidvest Wits. The Soweto giants will finish in second place regardless of the result in this match.

Stars guaranteed a top-seven finish with a goalless draw at home to Polokwane City on April 28. The result extended their winless run in the league to six matches, with their last victory coming away to Platinum Stars in early March.

Ea Lla Koto have claimed just 16 points from 14 away matches this season, with their last result on the road a 3-2 loss at SuperSport United last month.

In head-to-head stats, Stars and Pirates have met in 56 league matches since 1986. The Buccaneers have claimed 25 wins compared to nine for Ea Lla Koto, while 22 matches have been drawn. The Soweto club has won 16 of their 28 home league matches against the Free State side, suffering two defeats in the process.

When the teams met earlier this season, in Bethlehem in December 2017, Stars claimed a 2-1 home win thanks to an own goal from Abbubaker Mobara and a strike from Sinethemba Jantjie. The Buccaneers have won their last six consecutive home league matches against Ea Lla Koto.

Pirates’ line-up from their 1-0 loss to CT City on April 28: Mpontshane, Nyauza, Jele, Thopola (Morrison 83’), Maela, Mlambo (Makola 60’), Nyatama, Mobara (Gabuza 72’), Qalinge, Memela, Shonga.

Stars’ line-up from their 0-0 draw with Polokwane on April 28: Sangaré, Mahamutsa, Phungwayo, Keïta, Dlamini (Maphakisa 62'), Makhaula (Crosse 80'), Mobbie, Potsane, Mthembu, Masehe, Tchilimbou (Teyise 88').

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