Stars look to bounce back from heavy defeat

Stars look to bounce back from heavy defeat
Harris Tchilimbou of Free State Stars challenged by Robyn Johannes of Bidvest Wits during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 match between Bidvest Wits and Free State Stars at Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg on 04 August 2018 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Monday Aug 06, 2018. 13:39

Free State Stars will look to bounce back from a heavy opening defeat in the Absa Premiership when they host Maritzburg United at Goble Park on 8 August 2018, kick-off at 19h30.

Stars got their league campaign off to a losing start, as goals from Bidvest Wits’ Thulani Hlatshwayo, Mxolisi Machupu and Deon Hotto saw them beaten 3-0 in Johannesburg on August 4.

Ea Lla Koto were solid at home last term, recording six wins, six draws and just three defeats for a haul of 24 points as hosts through 2017/18.

Maritzburg also suffered an opening round defeat, as they were downed 2-0 at home by Golden Arrows in a KwaZulu-Natal derby at the Harry Gwala Stadium on August 5.

The Team of Choice’s away form last term saw them pick up five wins, five draws and five defeats for a haul of 20 points as visitors through 2017/18.

In head-to-head stats, Stars and Maritzburg have met in 22 league matches since 2005/06. Ea Lla Koto have claimed eight wins compared to four for the Team of Choice, while 10 matches have been drawn. The Free State side has claimed four wins from 11 home matches in the rivalry, suffering two defeats in the process.

Last season each team claimed an away win over the other, with Stars triumphing 1-0 at in KwaZulu-Natal, while Maritzburg claimed an emphatic 3-0 win in the return game in the Free State. The teams’ last six league meetings have produced four away wins.

Stars’ line-up from their 3-0 loss to Wits on August 4: Sangare, Masehe, Mbhele (Mobbie 77'), Mahamutsa, Keita, Klaas (Matlakala 54'), Makhaula, Tchilimbou, Janjtie (Jappie 64'), Dlamini, Rodgers.

Maritzburg’s line-up from their 2-0 loss to Arrows on August 5: Ofori, Sanoka, Xulu, De Reuck, Thlone (Mekoa 79’), Shandu, Makaringe, Ndlovu, Buchanan (Masegela 46’), Mokate, Kunene.

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