Stars look to avoid a hat-trick defeats

Free State Stars will be looking to avoid a hat-trick of Absa Premiership defeats when they take on hosts Golden Arrows at at Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday, 7 April 2018, kick-off at 3pm CAT.

Arrows claimed just a second win from their last eight league matches when they defeated Cape Town City 1-0 away on April 4. The Durban side has picked up nine points from a possible 24 in the sequence.

Abafana Bes’thende have claimed 15 points from 12 home matches this season, though their last game as hosts brought a 2-1 loss at the hands of Orlando Pirates on March 17.

Stars suffered a second successive league defeat when they were beaten 1-0 at home by Kaizer Chiefs on April 4. The Free State side has claimed just one win in their last five league outings, bringing them five points from a possible 15 in the sequence.

Ea Lla Koto have claimed 15 points from 12 away matches this season, though their last result on the road was a 1-0 defeat at Chippa United on March 17.

In head-to-head stats, Stars and Arrows have met in 25 league matches since 2000/01. Ea Lla Koto have claimed 10 wins compared to seven for Abafana Bes’thende, while eight matches have been draw. The Durban side has won five of their 12 home league matches against the Free State club, suffering three defeats in the process.

When the teams met earlier this season, Stars claimed a 2-1 home win over Arrows in early December thanks to goals from Goodman Dlamini and Sinethemba Jantjie. It was a second successive league win over Abafana Bes’thende for Ea Lla Koto.

Previous starting line-ups

Arrows’ line-up from their 1-0 win over City on April 4: Mbaeva, Mzava, Mathiane, Mngwengwe, Nkombelo, Zuke, Bilankulu, Ndwandwe (Molefe 73’), Shongwe (S. Magubane 87’), Venter (Buthelezi 84’), Lamola.

Stars’ line-up from their 1-0 loss to Chiefs on April 4: Sangare, Mobbie, Keita, Mahamutsa, Phungwayo, Dlamini (Potsane 79’), Masehe, Vilakazi, Jantjie, Tchilimbou, Mthembu.

Head-to-head statistics

LAST 10 LEAGUE RESULTS

Season Result Scorers

2011/12 Arrows 2-0 Stars Sheppard, Gabuza

2012/13 Stars 1-1 Arrows Wome; Smith

2012/13 Arrows 1-0 Stars Khuboni (pen)

2013/14 Arrows 0-1 Stars Abdul-Basit

2013/14 Stars 2-1 Arrows Masehe, Henyekane; Ntuli

2015/16 Stars 1-3 Arrows Sekola (pen); Hotto, Shitolo, Mahachi

2015/16 Arrows 1-0 Stars Mhango

2016/17 Stars 0-1 Arrows Nonyane

2016/17 Arrows 0-1 Stars Venter

2017/18 Stars 2-1 Arrows Dlamini, Jantjie; Magubane

LEAGUE RECORD (since 2000/01)

Home

P W D L GF GA

Arrows 12 5 4 3 13 8

Stars 13 7 4 2 19 12

Away

P W D L GF GA

Arrows 13 2 4 7 12 19

Stars 12 3 4 5 8 13

Total

P W D L GF GA

Arrows 25 7 8 10 25 27

Stars 25 10 8 7 27 25

What the teams are saying

Golden Arrows coach Clinton Larsen

“This match was all about trying to get three points and nothing else,” said Larsen after a 1-0 away win over Cape Town City in midweek.

“We had no intention of trying to outplay a quality City team, but what we were looking for was defensive discipline and a strong fighting spirit, of which our players gave both.

“With five games to go it’s all about points, especially if we still harbour ambitions of a top eight finish.”

Free State Stars assistant coach Selaotse Mosala

"If they score at that time, there's nothing we can do. That was killer for me. I think we've done well throughout the game, at some stages we took over the game," Mosala said after a last-gasp loss to Kaizer Chiefs in midweek.

"But that final pass was not coming, we were losing the ball in the final third.

"I think we stayed good enough in the game. We deserve something in the game, we deserved at least a point in this game, but what can we do? We lost the game in the last minute.”

Golden Arrows key players

Lerato Lamola – The striker has not enjoyed a particularly prolific season, but with two goals in Arrows’ last three league matches – including the winner against Cape Town City in midweek – he is at least in some promising form ahead of this clash.

Jabulani Shongwe – Most football matches are won in midfield and in Shongwe Arrows have one of the hardest-working box-to-box players in the PSL. If he can take the game by the scruff of the neck, then they will be on course for three points.

Free State Stars key players

Badra Ali Sangare – Stars’ Ivorian goalkeeper put in a superb showing against Kaizer Chiefs, though it wasn’t quite enough to earn a positive result against the Soweto giants. They will hope he continues his fine form against Arrows.

Paulus Masehe – With back-to-back losses, Stars are in need of strong leadership to turn their form around and midfield hardman Paulus Masehe is the man they will look to for inspiration and determination.