Platinum Stars look to upset Pirates

Platinum Stars will want to bag their first Absa Premiership win when they visit Orlando Pirates at the FNB Stadium on Wednesday night.

Kick-off is at 7:30pm.

Although Dikwena are yet to win in seven matches in their campaign so far, they have shown an improvement under coach Roger De Sa who replaced the sacked Peter Butler.

The former Buccaneers coach will be looking to exploit his former bosses and claim his maiden win for the Phokeng-based side.

Fresh from two losses against Mamelodi Sundowns and Golden Arrows, Stars managed to bag a point away to AmaZulu.

Looking at the hosts, Pirates have started well and have only registered a single loss which came at the hands of Bidvest Wits.

The Buccaneers have bagged three wins over Chippa United, Cape Town City and Chippa United, but drew against Maritzburg Unioted, Baroka FC and Polokwane City.

Coach Milutin Sredojevic said he respects De Sa and the two teams have always produced fireworks whenever they meet.

The Soweto giants will hope to retain the full three points and ensure they remain in the top five as they want to challenge for the title.

Previous starting XI:

Orlando Pirates: Sandilands, Nyauza, Mobara, Jele, Dube, Makola, Nyatama, Maela, Qalinge, Lorch, Gabuza

Platinum Stars: Mzimela, Mlilo, Zulu, Mwedihanga, Mbatha, Mere, Mkhabela, Msomi, Ngambi, Sesinyi, Ntuli

Head-to- Head

LAST 10 LEAGUE RESULTS

Season Result Scorers

2012/13 Stars 0-1 Pirates Jali (pen)

2012/13 Pirates 1-0 Stars Klate

2013/14 Stars 0-3 Pirates Ntshumayelo, Manyisa, Klate

2013/14 Pirates 1-1 Stars Bacela; S. Mthembu

2014/15 Stars 0-2 Pirates Majoro, Bacela

2014/15 Pirates 3-3 Stars Makola, Manyisa, Sarr; Ngele 3

2015/16 Pirates 1-1 Stars Sarr; Mabena

2015/16 Stars 2-1 Pirates Sithole, Mabena; Myeni

2016/17 Pirates 1-1 Stars Kutumela; Kunene

2016/17 Stars 0-0 Pirates

LEAGUE RECORD (since 2003/04)

Home Away Total

P W D L GF GA P W D L GF GA P W D L GF GA

Pirates 14 6 7 1 16 10 Pirates 14 8 5 1 23 12 Pirates 28 14 12 2 39 22

Stars 14 1 5 8 12 23 Stars 14 1 7 6 10 16 Stars 28 2 12 14 22 39

What the teams are saying

Orlando Pirates defender Innocent Maela:

“It's going to be a good game, a very challenging match. We will work hard to play a good game. We have done all our preparations for this one,” said Maela.

“We have worked hard and we will ensure we follow the coach's instructions. I am sure we can collect the full three points at home.

“We are at home and we are now a family - we work for each other.”

Platinum Stars coach Roger De Sa:

“With every game it’s an opportunity to get that win. We keep on believing that it is coming. As soon as we turn that over, I think we have got enough to go on a bit of a run,” said De Sa.

“I am pretty happy with a lot of things that we do. It’s more of the individual mistakes that we are still making.

“We give the ball away in areas that we shouldn’t. We make errors in areas that are crucial. It’s really the individual mistakes that are creeping in.

“You have got to work on that daily. Players have got to work on that daily so we will keep on doing it and hopefully we will get better.

“We make silly passes and our decision making in the final third is not great. That’s what we have got to work on day in and day out.”

Key players for Orlando Pirates:

Thamsanqa Gabuza:

Gabuza has rediscovered his form under coach Sredojevic and will be the man used as the point of reference upfront. His ability to put defenders under pressure will come to the fore and he will be hoping to find another goal for Pirates.

Thabo Qalinge:

Regular game time for the winger has helped him restore his confidence. His understanding with the men upfront will be vital for the hosts as they want to retain the full three points.

Key players for Platinum Stars:

Sibongakonke Mbatha:

Although they are not doing well as a team, Mbatha is one of the most consistent performers for Stars. He will be targeted by the hosts in an aim to stop him from launching the attacks.

Bonginkosi Ntuli:

Just like Gabuza, Ntuli is strong and can push defenders to run for the entire 90 minutes. His strength and ability to finish when unmarked will be a cause for concern for the hosts.