Baroka host Leopards in Play-off derby

Baroka FC are looking to return to winning ways when they host Black Leopards in their 2016/17 Promotional Playoff match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Wednesday.

Kick-off is at 15h00

The Limpopo derby is set to present an opportunity for the 2016 National First Division champions to claim their first win in the mini league.

Kgoloko Thobejane's men are under pressure to rescue their Absa Premiership status after failing to win in their opening match last week.

A 2-2 draw against Stellenbosch FC at Athlone Stadium last Wednesday means their fate in the elite division could be decided on Wednesday.

At home, they need to ensure they claim the full three points at all costs to ensure they move up the log table to four points.

On the other hand, news coming out of the camp is that the club has suspended co-coach Milton Dlamini with immediate effect, and the news could have a negative effect in their camp.

Although Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele survived relegation on the last day by beating Ajax Cape Town, another draw in the playoffs will not be enough to ensure they are in the South African top flight next season.

Sitting at No 2 on the log table with one point from their 2-2 draw against Sammy Troughton's men pushes them to fight for a win.

“One point going forward is very important – it is better than nothing. We just have to make sure that going to the second game we can get the three points,” said Thobejane following his side's 2-2 draw against Stellenbosch.

“As always‚ we are happy with time to prepare. It’s enough time and we can correct the mistakes that happened against Stellenbosch.

“That’s a derby game, but as Baroka, we have to win at all costs.”

Looking at the visiting cross-town rivals, Lidoda Duvha are desperate to gain promotion to end their four-year stay in the NFD.

Coach Jean Loscuito says he knows how their neighbours go about their business, but this is not a friendly and anything is possible as Baroka have their eyes firmly set on the prize to play in the top division.

Although they dominated the proceedings against Stellenbosch last weekend, the Venda-based club wasted a number of opportunities to seal a victory in Thohoyandou after playing to a goalless draw.

On the mini log table, Leopards occupy the third spot with one point and no goals so far.

The Belgian manager remains hopeful that they will play a good football match on Wednesday.

“It’s a derby! But all the matches in the playoffs are big. I will play for a win against Baroka because we are also at home‚” Loscuito said.

"Stellenbosch parked the bus in front of their box‚ but I am not the coach of Stellenbosch - I will focus on my team.

“It’s not a big problem because this was our first match in the playoffs.

“We played some good football. This bodes well for us looking at the future.”