Stars, Sundowns with very different ambitions

Stars, Sundowns with very different ambitions
Aubrey Ngoma of Mamelodi Sundowns is challenged by Bangaly Keita of Free State Stars during the Absa Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Free State Stars on the 07 November 2018 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium / Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday May 10, 2019. 14:00

Free State Stars and Mamelodi Sundowns will meet for a final day Absa Premiership clash in which they have very different ambitions. The match is set for 11 May 2019 at Goble Park, kick-off at 15h00.

Stars have gone five league matches without a win after they were held 1-1 at Kaizer Chiefs on May 4. The result saw the Free State side just one point above the automatic relegation slot, and only goal difference keeps them out of the playoff berth. They are fighting for their top-flight survival.

Ea Lla Koto have claimed 17 points from 14 home matches this season, with their last result as hosts a 2-2 draw with Baroka FC in late April.

Sundowns secured a fourth successive league victory when goals from Hlompho Kekana and Themba Zwane secured a 2-0 home win over Golden Arrows on May 7. The result means the Tshwane side will claim a second successive league championship if they pick up all three points in this match.

The Brazilians have claimed 31 points from 14 away matches this season, with their last result on the road a 2-1 win at Black Leopards in late April.

In head-to-head stats, Stars and Sundowns have met in 58 league matches since 1986. The Tshwane side has claimed 30 wins compared to 10 for their Free State rivals, while 18 matches have ended in draws. Ea Lla Koto have won just seven of 28 home matches in the rivalry, suffering 12 defeats in the process.

When the teams met earlier this season, at Loftus Stadium in November 2018, Sundowns claimed a 3-1 home win thanks to goals from Gaston Sirino (two) and Jeremy Brockie. The Brazilians are unbeaten in their last 15 league games against Ea Lla Koto.

Stars’ line-up from their 1-1 draw with Chiefs on May 4: Sangare, Mobbie, Mothumo, Mbhele, Phungwayo, Makhaula, Mokhuoane, Masehe, Jappie (Rodgers 85’), Tchilimbou, Hlubi.

Sundowns’ line-up from their 2-0 win over Arrows on May 7: Onyango, Langerman, Nascimento, Morena , Arendse, Kekana, Coetzee, Vilakazi, Zwane (Ngcongca 82'), Maboe (Brockie 71'), Sirino (Mabunda 71').

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