Mamelodi Sundowns and Platinum Stars will face off in the league encounter at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday afternoon
Platinum Stars will welcome Mamelodi Sundowns in the PSL clash at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in what is regarded as a curtain raiser, as both teams will again meet in the cup competition in two weeks later.
Sundowns have publicly made peace with the underdog tag given to them going into this series of matches, but it is certainly not going to be a walk in the park for Dikwena.
Stars coach Cavin Johnson hasn’t lost hope of catching the log leaders with less than 10 league games to play, and three points against the out-of-form Sundowns team will get them back into the title race.
The Brazilians will be looking to continue fighting for the top eight spot and they are surely going to give their all. They will also want to put their previous league results behind them with maximum points away from home.
Mental fitness will also prove vital in this match with Stars knowing that two of their regular players (Thuso Phala and Enocent Mkhabela) officially leaving the club at the end of the season.
However, the presence of senior players like Benson Mhlongo and Vuyo Mere who both played for Sundowns earlier in their careers, will be highly important as to keep the shape especially at the back.
Pitso Mosimane will also have to motivate his players to at least forget about the history between the them and Stars, and also ignore the fact that they lost their last two league games.
Platinum Stars’ Thuso Phala has always been a thorn to the teams he previously played for and Sundowns could also fall into the same trap, as the speedy winger has played for them before, but the Bafana winger will have to overcome Tebogo Langerman who has had a fantastic season so far, and for that reason he has earned himself a Bafana call up.Sundowns will go into this game 11th on the log with 23 points from 21 games, while Platinum Stars are still third with 38points from the same number of games played by their opponents.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Sundowns have scored nine of their 16 league goals when playing away from home.
- Platinum Stars are the second highest scorers in the league, having netted 33 goals. Only Chiefs have scored more (38).
- In head-to-head stats, Dikwena and Sundowns have met 17 times since 2004, with both teams winning the same number of games (6) against each other, drawing five and losing six against each other.
- Sundowns have failed to beat Platinum Stars in their last four meetings, with Dikwena winning two of those games while the other two ended in draws.
- Stars beat Sundowns by an odd goal in the reverse fixture, thanks to Henrico Botes’ 14th minute strike.