Dikwena eye first win of the year

Platinum Stars have an opportunity to bag their first win in 2018 when they meet Polokwane City in the Absa Premiership on Saturday night at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.

Kick-off is at 8:15pm.

The Rustenburg-based side is fresh from a 0-0 draw against Baroka on Wednesday night.

Under the guidance of suspended coach Roger De Sa, Dikwena are flirting with relegation and will go all out to beat Rise and Shine.

The former Telkom Knockout Cup and MTN8 Cup campions remain placed at the bottom of the log table with 18 points from 25 matches.

With five matches remaining on their schedule, they are aware that a win will uplift their morale ahead of their clash against Kaizer Chiefs next week.

A look at Bernard Molekwa’s troops, City beat SuperSport United 1-0 on Wednesday night at home and will be chasing a win to ease their relegation concerns as well.

On the log standings, City are placed at number 12 with 30 points and are set to fight for a spot in the top eight.

The reverse fixture ended in a win for the Phokeng-based side and City are gunning for revenge heading to the North West.

Previous starting XI:

Platinum Stars: Stars: Mzimela, Mpeta, Sithole, Mlilo, Mere, Mekoa, Msomi, Rambuwane, Phiri, Norodien, Ntuli

Polokwane City: Chigova, Ravhuhali, Manaka, Tshilo, Semenya, Seabi, Phiri, J Maluleke, Ramagalela, Musona, Sulumba

Head-to-head

ALL LEAGUE RESULTS

Season Result Scorers

2013/14 Stars 2-1 Polokwane S. Mthembu, Ng’ambi; Sarr (og)

2013/14 Polokwane 2-2 Stars Tlolane 2; Ng’ambi, Tshabalala

2014/15 Polokwane 2-1 Stars Molala, Alexander; Manzini

2014/15 Stars 3-1 Polokwane Rodgers 2, Mabena; Kanyenda

2015/16 Polokwane 1-0 Stars Nzimande

2015/16 Stars 3-0 Polokwane Msomi, Segolela, Ng’ambi

2016/17 Stars 2-3 Polokwane Shilongo 2; Jembula, Mathe (og), Ramagalela

2016/17 Polokwane 1-0 Stars Tshilo

2017/18 Polokwane 0-1 Stars Ntuli

LEAGUE RECORD (since 2013/14)

Home Away Total

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

Stars 4 3 0 1 10 5 Stars 5 1 1 3 4 6 Stars 9 4 1 4 14 11

Polokwane 5 3 1 1 6 4 Polokwane 4 1 0 3 5 10 Polokwane 9 4 1 4 11 14

What the teams are saying:

Platinum Stars assistant coach Milton Dlamini:

“We are disappointed by the Baroka draw but we can’t stop fighting,” said Dlamini.

“We must live to see the next game. We are going to try our best and score goals. We wanted to score on Wednesday night. We created chances, but the ball didn’t go in. We can’t press panic buttons. Otherwise we must stop playing altogether.

“It’s a little bit of a setback but we have Polokwane City on Saturday to sort things out for ourselves. It’s still mathematically possible to avoid relegation, so we are not going to give up. We are still going to play. We have got five more games left.

“The plan was right. We will keep on working on it. We can’t point fingers. We tried but it never came right. We put opponents under pressure. We created chances and set pieces, but if you don’t score you are not going to win a game. That’s the reality part of football as sad as it is,”

Polokwane City coach Bernard Molekwa:

“As a leader Ramagalela rescued us and managed to score that solitary goal and it gave us three points in our last match against SuperSport,” said Molekwa.

“It’s a good feeling to win because we have been looking for these three points for a long time, especially at home.

“It’s our first win at home and I hope we will also get maximum points in our next game against Stars.”

Key players for Platinum Stars:

Mbongeni Mzimela:

The former AmaZulu keeper has a tough task to keep a clean sheet in the game. He will be key as they fight to escape the relegation axe.

Robert Ng’ambi:

The experienced midfielder is the man Stars will look up to in terms of leading by example and to inspire the youngsters. He is experienced and will be crucial for their fight.

Key players for Polokwane City:

Edgar Manaka:

The skilful midfielder is set to create all sorts of problems for the hosts as they want their second win in a row. Manaka will have to be creative and supply the likes of Ramagalela.

Rodney Ramagalela:

Ramagalela wants to take the top goalscorer award and has 11 goals next to his name so far. In the remaining matches, his aim is to keep scoring and help the club reach the top.