Stars play host to wounded Ajax

Free State Stars will play host to a wounded Ajax Cape Town outfit in an Absa Premiership clash at Goble Park on Wednesday evening, as they themselves set their sights on a third successive league win.

Kick-off is at 7:30pm CAT.

Ea Lla Koto climbed up to 11th spot on the log standings following wins over Polokwane City and Maritzburg United - both victories coming on their travels.

But, for all their success away from home, Stars have yet to win on home soil this season. Having held defending champions Bidvest Wits to a 2-2 draw the Free State club suffered a 2-1 loss against Mamelodi Sundowns.

As for the Urban Warriors, they suffered a third defeat of the season: going down 2-0 at home to local rivals Cape Town City at the end of last month. The club have managed but one win this campaign thus far.

Ajax Cape Town have claimed just one point from their three matches on the road, having held Baroka to a 2-2 stalemate in the Limpopo province.

The Free State side boasts an unbeaten record at home in this rivalry, with 10 wins and four draws from 14 turns as hosts. A record head coach Stanley Menzo is desperate to break, with this game last season having been his first in charge of the Cape club.

Last season the teams shared the spoils in both league matches: the game in the Free State ended in a 1-1 draw, while the return game in the Mother City finished 2-2.

Predicted Starting 11:

Free State Stars: Sangare, Mokhuoane, Mobbie, Keita, Phungwayo, Mbhele, Vilakazi, Manqele, Potsane, Anas, Jantjie.

Ajax Cape Town: Petersen, Evans, Nhlapo, Booysen, Lebusa, Pietersen, Margeman, Mdabuka Kabwe , Uzoenyi, Nxumalo.



Season Result Scorers

2012/13 Stars 2-1 Ajax Nomandela, Ouro-Akoriko; Scott

2012/13 Ajax 4-2 Stars Manyama 2, Nale, Billiat; Mkhatshwa, Ouro-Akoriko

2013/14 Ajax 1-0 Stars Telinho

2013/14 Stars 1-1 Ajax Henyekane; Morris

2014/15 Ajax 2-1 Stars Morris, Nkoana; Masehe

2014/15 Stars 1-0 Ajax Sankara

2015/16 Ajax 2-1 Stars Lebusa, Nxumalo; Ngcobo

2015/16 Stars 1-0 Ajax Makhaula

2016/17 Stars 1-1 Ajax Dlamini; Mzwakali

2016/17 Ajax 2-2 Stars Mayambela, Kabwe; Anas 2

LEAGUE RECORD (since 1999/2000)



Stars 14 10 4 0 23 8

Ajax 14 7 4 3 20 14



Stars 14 3 4 7 14 20

Ajax 14 0 4 10 8 23



Stars 28 13 8 7 37 28

Ajax 28 7 8 13 28 37

What They Said:

Free State Stars head coach Luc Eymael:

“Six points [against Polokwane City and Maritzburg United] when you are playing two games in a row away is a good thing. Against Baroka we deserved to win a minimum of one point, but it’s not all bad. We have to continue on this road.

“Now we switch focus as we welcome Ajax and Platinum Stars, and we have to try our best from these game to pick up maximum points or at least four points. So, yes, we have to try and show them something at our base.

Ajax Cape Town head coach Stanley Menzo:

“We want all three points, it is an important week for us. It will be good for us as a team to get all three points [against Free State Stars], we know it won’t be easy but we have to go there and fight.

“For me [past results] don’t count. For me it is a challenge and a challenge we want to conquer. There will be a time where you will change your fortunes. Just because we have struggled there [in Bethlehem] in the past, doesn’t mean we will always struggle there - I don’t believe that.”