Sundowns, FS Stars renew rivalry

Paulus Masehe © Backpagepix

Mamelodi Sundowns are chasing their second Absa Premiership win in the 2017/18 campaign as they visit Free State Stars on Monday evening at Goble Park Stadium. Kick-off is at 6pm.

The Brazilians are still licking their wounds after losing to Polokwane City 2-1 in their previous league match and will now want to bounce back.

Although they have one win over SuperSport United so far, they will now want to claim a win in Bethlehem to ensure they boost their morale ahead of the CAF Champions League quarter-final clash this coming weekend.

Coach Pitso Mosimane's men will want to win this encounter to move up the log table as they sit at number five with three points from two matches so far.

Looking at coach Luc Eymael's men, Ea Lla Koto are also chasing a win at home as they sit at number 13 on the log standings with one point from two league matches.

They lost 1-0 to AmaZulu and drew against the reigning league champions, Bidvest Wits, but will now chase their first league win in the new campaign.

Previous starting XI

Free State Stars: Sangare, Teyise, Mahamutsa, Hlubi, Mokhuoane, Makhaula, Masehe, Jantjie, Mashego, Nono, Mthembu

Mamelodi Sundowns: Onyango, Langerman, Soumahoro, Madisha, Sekotlong, Kekana, Morena, Lebese, Zwane, Manyisa, Tau

Head-to- head:

LAST 10 LEAGUE RESULTS

Season Result Scorers
2012/13 Stars 1-1 Sundowns Wome; Rodgers
2012/13 Sundowns 2-1 Stars Mushekwi 2; Cardoso
2013/14 Sundowns 2-1 Stars Malajila, Moriri; Abraw
2013/14 Stars 1-2 Sundowns Sekola; Laffor, Wome
2014/15 Sundowns 2-0 Stars Malajila, Billiat
2014/15 Stars 0-2 Sundowns Malajila, Billiat
2015/16 Sundowns 3-1 Stars Billiat, T. Zwane, Kekana; Fileccia
2015/16 Stars 2-5 Sundowns Venter, Mashego; Arendse, Dolly, Castro, Billiat, Ngele
2016/17 Sundowns 4-1 Stars Billiat, Tau 2, Dolly; Sekotlong
2016/17 Stars 0-1 Sundowns Madisha

What the teams are saying

Mamelodi Sundowns striker Thokozani Sekotlong:

“I feel like I had a good performance in our last game, I just lacked a goal to calm the nerves down. But things happen for a reason because not scoring in that game is driving me to do even better in our next game,” said Sekotlong.

“I am just hoping to get that first goal to settle down and then after that many more will come. The first goal will open up many more goals and will help with my confidence.

“I know that the pressure is higher which is why I need to be able to handle that pressure. Here they demand the best out of you all the time.

“And I must produce my best when we play Free State Stars because we want to win that game. We want to climb the league table.”

Free State Stars coach Luc Eymael:

“I don’t want to put pressure on myself but I will do my best to put the team in the top-eight and I think I can succeed with the players we have,” said Eymael.

“I will try and achieve and bring the best results into Free State Stars as I have done with my previous clubs. I will strive my best to help the team to improve.

“I also hope that together with my technical team, management, and the players we will work together to achieve more and I am adamant that we will achieve our goal at the end of the season.

“We have a tough game against Sundowns, but my job as coach is to get good results against tough opposition.”

Key players fort Mamelodi Sundowns

Thokozani Sekotlong:

A former Stars player, Sekotlong will be out to prove his worth against his former employers. He is also chasing his first goal in Sundowns colours and this will be a crucial encounter for him.

Denis Onyango:

Fresh from a fantastic run in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers for Uganda, the experienced goalkeeper will want to help the club bag their second win. Having conceded twice against Polokwane City, his aim is to keep a clean sheet at Goble Park.

Key players for Free State Stars:

Paulus Masehe:

The ever-present skipper will be a key man for the hosts as they challenge for their first win at home. Against his former club, Masehe has the responsibility to lead the team and ensure they upset the African champions.

Sinethemba Jantjie:

Jantjie's skills and dazzling pace on the wings will be a cause for concern for the Tshwane side. He will be an interesting player to watch as he will battle it out against Thapelo Morena or Tebogo Langerman.