Stars looking for win against Bidvest

2016-10-19 06:00

BETHLEHEM. – After failing to register a win in six Absa Premier League contests, Free State Stars will shift its focus to the Telkom Knockout contest as they welcome the MTN8 champions Bidvest Wits at the Goble Park Stadium in Bethlehem on Saturday (22/10) afternoon. Kick-off is at 15:00.

This contest promises sparks, as both teams will be watching the semi-final spot with hawk eyes.

The Ea Lla Koto side that played to a 1-1 draw against Maritzburg United over the past weekend at the James Motlatsi stadium in Orkney without head coach Giovanni Solinas on the bench, will be hoping to see him back.

Apparently, Solinas was serving a red card suspension that he had picked up a few months before he left Stars.

Besides that, it has also been reported that he had not obtained a work permit at the time the game took place.

The Clever Boys were not in action over the weekend and arguably this could work to their benefit in the upcoming encounter this weekend.

On paper, Wits appears to be a team that is on form following their 3-0 hammering of Mamelodi Sundowns in the cup final.

They have, however, proved not to be unbeatable in their previous games away against Stars.

The last time they beat Stars on their home turf was on October 27 in 2013, winning 3-0 in a league match.

They again won by beating Stars 4-2 in a penalty shootout during the 2015 edition of the Nedbank Cup competition in February 2015. This was after the teams played to a goalless draw.

Ea Lla Koto won the encounter with Wits in the same cup on 23 April 2016 after a penalty shootout. They won 5-4 after a goalless draw.

A total of three cup competitions between the two teams since 2010 have ended in a goalless draw and it remains to be seen if this Saturday’s contest will also be decided on penalties.

Solinas will pin his hopes on team captain Paulos Masehe, Moeketsi Sekola, Danny Venter and Nhlanhla Vilakazi, while Gavin Hunt will be sending Daine Klate, Elias Pelembe, Gabadinho Mahango and others to do the job for him and hopefully send his team to their second consecutive cup final.

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