Dikwena optimistic of sinking Maritzburg

Platinum Stars are out to open their 2017/18 Absa Premiership campaign with a win as they host Maritzburg United on Saturday afternoon at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.

Kick-off is at 3:00pm.

The Dikwena will be targeting a win in their first home game as they want to erase their failure to reach the MTN8 Cup after finishing at No 9 last season.

Under a new technical team in coach, Peter Butler, Stars will want to start off on a high in front of their home crowd.

On the other hand, facing a motivated Team of Choice is not going to be an easy challenge as the visitors are fresh from a win in the Wafa Wafa competition.

Coach Fadlu Davids is hoping to make it two wins in a row in all competitions after beating Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 last weekend.

Head-to- Head (LAST 10 LEAGUE RESULTS)

Season Result Scorers

2012/13 Maritzburg 0-1 Stars Mkhabela

2012/13 Stars 2-0 Maritzburg Ng’ambi, Phala

2013/14 Maritzburg 1-2 Stars Sarr (og); Botes, Tshabalala

2013/14 Stars 2-1 Maritzburg Nyanda, Makudubela; Mandaza

2014/15 Maritzburg 3-1 Stars Cele, Mandaza, Lentjies (pen); Mabena

2014/15 Stars 1-2 Maritzburg Mabena; Mekoa, Mokate

2015/16 Stars 1-1 Maritzburg Mere; Onyango

2015/16 Maritzburg 1-1 Stars Rusike; Ng’ambi

2016/17 Stars 0-0 Maritzburg

2016/17 Maritzburg 0-0 Stars

LEAGUE RECORD (since 2005/06)

P W D L GF GA

Maritzburg 22 5 7 10 18 27

Stars 22 10 7 5 27 18

What the teams are saying

Platinum Stars skipper Vuyo Mere:

“Our coach, Peter Butler believes in the youth and he will give them a fair chance, everything is going well. We are ready for United,” said Mere.

"In a way, their win over Sundowns is a blessing in disguise for us, they will think they have arrived after that win and we will shock them.

“Look, they are motivated coming to this match but it will be 11 versus 11. We are at home and we will do everything in our power to win. We urge our supporters to come and support the boys.”

Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids:

"I've said it to the chairman that we have to aim higher and try our best to achieve our targets," said Davids.

"He said he wants us to achieve top five in the next three years, but I think in the next three years we have to be in the top eight consistently.

"I think the match against Sundowns gave us a lot of information to start the league and I think we will be much better prepared against Platinum Stars."

Key players for Platinum Stars

Vuyo Mere: Mere is one of the most experienced players in the squad having led the team for many seasons. The versatile player can play at the back, in the midfield and will be vital for the side on the day. His excellent passing and leadership role will help the club.

Robert Ng'ambi: The Malawian international is one of the most trusted players in the heart of the park. His ability intercept dangerous balls and also create danger when going forward will come in handy for Dikwena.

Key players for Maritzburg United

Bevan Fransman: As a skipper, the lanky defender will provide steel at the back for United. Apart from his defending responsibilities, he is a vital weapon when it comes to set pieces as his height will help the team.

Evans Rusike: Rusike showed that he still has the quality when he scored a crucial goal against Sundowns last week. He has an eye for goal and his pace and strength can trouble any defence on any given day.