Relegation threatened Stars will be targeting a win as they're desperately in need of points, while Sundowns are out to close the gap at the top when the two teams meet on Tuesday
|FREE STATE STARS
Mtshali, Masehe, Ouro-Akoriko, Cardoso, Tlhone, Basie, Kerspuy, Yende, Nomandela, Sekola, Abdul-Basit
Sandilands, Moon, Sumaila, Nthethe, Mashaba, Mokoena, Wome, Kekana, Moriri, Laffor, Ramagalela
Free State Stars will look to make it two straight wins when they host Mamelodi Sundowns in an Absa Premiership encounter at Charles Mopeli Stadium on Tuesday night.
Stars have had a poor season so far, having changed head coaches about three times. Current Maritzburg United head coach Steve Komphela was fired late last year and his former assistant Themba Sithole took over. However, their fortunes did not change. Recently, former Malawi national team head coach Kinnah Phiri was announced as the new head coach.
Coach Phiri won his first match in charge of Stars against high-riding Bidvest Wits 3-1 on Saturday night. Unfortunately, he will be without quick striker Richard Henyekane who scored a hat-trick against Wits. Henyekane is a Mamelodi Sundowns loanee, so he's ineligible to play against his parent club.
Ea Lla Koto are currently 14th on the Absa Premiership standings, with 20 points from 21 PSL matches. They are seven points clear of 16th placed Lamontville Golden Arrows.
Sundowns have returned to winning ways in recent times. Coach Pitso Mosimane's charges are coming off back-to-back Absa Premiership victories against AmaZulu and Polokwane City as they try and put more pressure on PSL log leaders Kaizer Chiefs.
Coach Mosimane went into the City match without influential midfielders Bongani Zungu and Elias Pelembe who had picked up injuries a few days before the match. Sundowns will now be without the club's vice-captain Teko Modise who will be serving his one match ban.
The Brazilians are currently second on the Absa Premiership standings, with 40 points from 21 PSL matches. They are six points behind log leaders Kaizer Chiefs.
It will be interesting how Free State Stars winger Luyolo Nomandela performs against his future employers, Sundowns. Brazilians duo Dove Wome and Mzikayise Mashaba may come back to haunt their former team, Stars.
- Sundowns won the first round encounter between the teams 2-1 at Loftus Stadium.
- In Head-to-head stats since 1986, the two teams have met 48 times.
- Sundowns have dominated this fixture, winning 21 compared to Stars' 10 wins while 17 matches ended in draws.
- Stars Luyolo Nomandela will face Sundowns for the first time since signing a pre-contract with Downs in January.
- Sundowns have collected 17 points from their 10 away matches so far this season.