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Maritzburg United and Free State Stars put their unbeaten starts to the test

Maritzburg United and Free State Stars will have their unbeaten records tested when they meet in an Absa Premiership clash at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday night.

Both sides have two wins and a draw from their opening three matches of the campaign, with United in particular looking as though they may be the surprise-package of the season in the PSL.

They have never beaten Ea Lla Koto in the previous eight meetings between the two sides, though this season they have reason for renewed optimism.

Coach Ernst Middendorp appears to have bought well in the transfer market, his trump card being veteran former Bafana Bafana international Delron Buckley.

Buckley had had a wonderful career playing in Europe, most notably in Germany, and at the age of 34 is enjoying his first season in the South African domestic game having left these shores as a teenager.

He looks as though he may be the buy of the transfer window with three excellent all-round performances, his last against Mamelodi Sundowns capped by two excellent goals.

Stars have always been a tough assignment for United – both home and away – and they have lost this fixture 2-0 in both the last two campaigns.

Steve Komphela’s side have a solid look about them despite the loss of their top names from last season and will certainly bring a physicality to the fixture that the home side may find hard to handle.     

SuperSport United host AmaZulu in their Absa Premiership clash at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday.

Matsatsantsa have begun the season with three draws and have looked below par in the league, though they will take confidence from their qualification for the MTN8 final, where they will take on Moroka Swallows on September 22.

Usuthu have had a dismal start to the season, taking just one point from their first three games. Coach Roger Palmgren denies that he is under any pressure, but he will know that the club has big ambitions for this season and results need to improve fast

The Swede says he was impressed with his sides showing in the tepid 0-0 draw with city rivals Lamontville Golden Arrows last time out, but they have still yet to score a goal in four matches in all competitions this season and have conceded 10.

Chippa United will likely have coach Roger Sikhakhane back in charge of the side for the visit of BidVest Wits to the Athlone Stadium on Sunday.

Sikhakhane took over the side midway through last season and helped them win promotion to the top-flight. He was removed from the post ahead of the new campaign though, the club blaming an ‘illness’ and replaced by Manqoba Mngqithi.

The latter was himself axed two games into the season though, which both resulted in narrow defeats, though the performances of the side was good.

Sikhakhane has been back with the squad since Monday and has been taking training this week, though the club have yet to confirm if he will sit on the bench on Sunday.

Wits got their first win of the season last time out when they beat Bloemfontein Celtic 2-0. On paper they will have too much for Chippa, but The Clever Boys have not been the best of travelers over the past few seasons.

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