Pirates look to extend league lead

Pirates look to extend league lead
Vincent Pule from Orlando Pirates and Makhehleni Makhaula from FS Stars during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 game between Free State Stars and Orlando Pirates at Goble Park, Bethlehem on 11 December 2018 © Gerhard Steenkamp/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Apr 12, 2019. 11:00

Orlando Pirates will hope to extend their lead at the top of the Absa Premiership when they host Free State Stars at Orlando Stadium on 13 April 2019, kick-off at 20h15.

Pirates claimed a second successive win and opened a three-point lead at the top of the log by defeating Black Leopards 2-0 at home on April 10, thanks to goals from Luvoyo Memela and Thembinkosi Lorch.

The Buccaneers have claimed 22 points from 13 home matches this season. The clash against the Free State visitors will be their penultimate turn as hosts in 2018/19.

Stars claimed just their sixth win of the league season when they defeated AmaZulu 4-1 at home on March 16, with goals from Martin Kizza, Relebogile Mokhouane Eleazar Rodgers and Harris Tchilimbou.

The Free State side has not been in action since then, with their scheduled match away to Highlands Park on April 6 postponed due to the death of winger Sinethemba Jantjie.

Ea Lla Koto have claimed just eight points from 11 away matches this season, with their last result on the road a 1-0 loss at SuperSport United in early March.

In head-to-head stats, Stars and Pirates have met in 58 league matches since 1986. The Buccaneers have claimed 27 wins compared to nine for Ea Lla Koto, while 22 matches have been drawn. The Soweto club has won 17 of their 29 home league matches in the rivalry, suffering just two defeats in the process.

When the teams met earlier this season, at Goble Park in December 2018, Pirates claimed a 3-1 away win thanks to goals from Thembonkosi Lorch, Justin Shonga and Linda Mntambo. The teams have played to just one draw in their last nine league meetings.

Pirates’ line-up from their 2-0 win over Leopards on April 10: Sandilands, Dube, Munetsi, Jele, Maela, Qalinge (Pule 61’), Nyatama, Motshwari, Memela (Makola 80’), Lorch, Shonga.

Stars’ line-up from their 4-1 win over AmaZulu on March 16: Mbambo, Masehe, Mahamutsa, Mathumo, Mobbie, Tchilimbou, Kizza (Dlamini 76'), Khabane (Mokhouane 46'), Mbhele, Rodgers, Jantjie (Hlubi 68').

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