Black Leopards begin top flight return with a derby

Black Leopards begin top flight return with a derby
Jabulani Maluleke of Polokwane City during the Absa Premiership match between Bidvest Wits and Polokwane City 22 April 2018 at Bidvest Stadium Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Aug 03, 2018. 09:00

Black Leopards’ return to the Absa Premiership will begin with a Limpopo derby against Polokwane City at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday, 4 August 2018, kick-off at 18h00.

Leopards finished second in the National First Division last season, claiming 50 points from their 30 matches. Joel Masutha’s team then went on to finish top of the Promotion Playoffs ahead of Jomo Cosmos and Platinum Stars to earn a place in the top flight.

Lidoda Duvha’s home form saw them claim 31 points from 15 matches, as they recorded nine wins, four draws and two defeats as hosts through the 2017/18 season.

Leopards’ work in the transfer market has included the signings of Pentjie Zulu and Themba Ndlovu, though Meshack Maphangule departed for Orlando Pirates.

Polokwane had an up-and-down season in the Absa Premiership last term, picking up 36 points from their 30 matches to end in 12th place. New coach Jozef Vukuzic (who has previously worked at FC Cape Town) will be hoping to impress in his first season in the PSL.

Rise and Shine’s away form saw them claim 18 points from 15 matches, as they recorded four wins, six draws and five defeats as visitors through the 2017/18 season.

Polokwane’s work in the transfer market has included the signings of Lehlohonolo Ledwaba and Mohammed Anas, while the likes of Thapelo Tshilo, Tshepo Tema and Rendani Ndou have left the club.

In head-to-head stats, Leopards and Polokwane will be meeting for the first time in the Absa Premiership. However, they have clashed in the National First Division, Promotion Playoffs and Nedbank Cup before, with their most recent meeting a 2-1 win for Rise and Shine in June 2014.




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