AmaZulu host revamped FS Stars

AmaZulu will play host to Free State Stars in an Absa Premiership match at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 3:00pm.

Usuthu have bounced back to the top-flight league after a three-year hiatus. The club purchased Thanda Royal Zulu's Premier Soccer League (PSL) status.

This was after AmaZulu had failed to secure promotion from the National First Division (NFD) to the PSL - finishing fifth in the second tier of South African football last season.

Usuthu, who have a new coach in Cavin Johnson, will face a revamped Stars side which has released several players and signed seven new players.

Sammy Troughton, the new Stars coach, is expected to ensure Ea Lla Koto avoid another disappointing season as the team flirted with relegation in the previous campaign.

Possible AmaZulu XI: Pule, Sikhakhane, Nyongo, Ouro-Akoriko, Mngqibisa, Konqobe, Morton, Karuru, Ramphele, Nomvethe, Khenyeza.

Possible Stars XI: Sangare, Mashego, Mahamutsa, Teyise, Mbhele, Abubakar, Masehe, Vilakazi, Jantjie, Dlamini, Anas.



Season Result Scorers

2010/11 AmaZulu 0-0 Stars

2010/11 Stars 1-1 AmaZulu Lebyane; Majoro (pen)

2011/12 AmaZulu 0-1 Stars Lebyane

2011/12 Stars 2-1 AmaZulu Manqele 2; Lewis

2012/13 AmaZulu 0-1 Stars Esterhuizen

2012/13 Stars 2-1 AmaZulu Mvula, Venter; Senamela

2013/14 Stars 1-1 AmaZulu A. Dlamini; Nyadombo (og)

2013/14 AmaZulu 2-1 Stars A. Dlamini, Gamildien; Henyekane

2014/15 Stars 0-0 AmaZulu

2014/15 AmaZulu 1-0 Stars Mabizela

LEAGUE RECORD (since 1986)



AmaZulu 23 10 7 6 31 22

Stars 24 13 5 6 35 19



AmaZulu 24 6 5 13 19 35

Stars 23 6 7 10 22 31



AmaZulu 47 16 12 19 50 57

Stars 47 19 12 16 57 50

Free State Stars midfielder Goodman Dlamini:

“I will be playing them for the first time since joining Ea Lla Koto last season. I have no point to prove. I will be playing my normal game," Dlamini said.

“I am just keeping focus and I will play according to coaches instruction, but it will really be nice to pick up maximum in the opening match, it just eases the pressure going forward.”

AmaZulu midfielder Michael Morton:

"The most important thing is to adapt quickly in the PSL because the NFD is different from the top flight," he said.

"We have to ensure that we fight for a victory in every game that we play. If we are consistent then the club will retain its status in the PSL this season. It will be tough, but we have a good squad that can compete."

Key Players

AmaZulu's key players are Tapelo Nyongo and Siyabonga Nomvethe

Nyongo was one of Usuthu's most outstanding players last season as the club narrowly missed out on promotion to the PSL on the last day of the campaign.

AmaZulu’s inspirational captain is a solid central defender, who leads from the back, and he managed to make 25 NFD appearances last season - netting five goals in the process.

Nomvethe, who turns 40 in December, 2017, remains a very important player and reliable goalscorer for the KwaZulu-Natal giants.

The hard-working forward still possesses speed and good finishing abilities - hit the back of the net 17 goals in 27 NFD games last season for Usuthu, and his experience will be important against Stars.

Stars' dangermen are Sinethemba Jantjie and Goodman Dlamini

Jantjie proved to be one of the most dangerous wingers in the PSL last season and he was linked with local giants, Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs, and Orlando Pirates.

Stars have managed to retain the services of the winger, who is blessed with good dribbling skills and pace, so far with the Transfer Window set to close on 31 August 2017.

Dlamini could have a point to prove against his former side, AmaZulu - having left the club for Stars prior to the 2016/17 campaign following a long stint with KwaZulu-Natal side.

The 29-year-old attacking midfielder, who found the back of the net six times in 27 appearances in all competitions for Ea Lla Koto last season, could be the key to Stars' victory over AmaZulu.