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Saturday's Joint PSL Preview: SuperSport United begin life without Tinkler, Platinum Stars look to ease relegation woes

11:20 AM WAT 03/03/2018
Evans Rusike, SuperSport United
Matsatsantsa will begin life without Tinkler, while Dikwena are hoping to ease their relegation woes

All eyes will be on the titanic Premier Soccer League (PSL) match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Two interesting PSL matches will then follow with SuperSport United hosting Maritzburg United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in the evening, while Platinum Stars will welcome Free State Stars at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium at night.

SuperSport are heading into their encounter having parted with Eric Tinkler, who resigned as the club's head coach on Friday. Long-serving assistant coach Kaitano Tembo has been appointed caretaker coach until the end of the season.

Pressure was mounting on Tinkler as the results were not forthcoming with Matsatsantsa having failed to win their last four games including the defeat to Bloemfontein Celtic in the Nedbank Cup.

Matsatsantsa find themselves placed 12th on the league having accumulated 26 points from 23 games. They are three points above the relegation play-off spot.

The Tshwane giants, who are averaging 1.27 goals per match at home in the league this season, will welcome back Aubrey Modiba against Maritzburg. The left-winger missed Matsatsantsa's 1-1 draw with Mamelodi Sundows in the Tshwane Derby due to suspension.

They will face a Maritzburg side which has impressed many this season under the guidance of Fadlu Davids. The Team of Choice's 2-1 win over Platinum Stars extended their winning run to three games in all competitions last week.

The Pietermaritzburg-based outfit is currently placed fourth on the league standings with 34 points from 22 games. They are only two points behind second-placed Orlando Pirates.

Lebohang Maboe, who is one of the Team of Choice's key players, will be available against Matsatsantsa after serving his suspension. Maritzburg are averaging 1.18 goals per match in the league on the road having failed to score in five away games.

Maritzburg and SuperSport have met in 23 league matches since 2005/06 in head-to-head stats. Matsatsantsa have secured 13 wins compared to just two for the Team of Choice, while eight games have been drawn. SuperSport beat Maritzburg 1-0 in the first round league game in Pietermaritzburg last January.

Meanwhile, Platinum Stars' relegation woes continued when they lost to Maritzburg last week. The defeat extended the struggling North West-based club's winless run to seven matches in the league.

Dikwena, who are under the guidance of experienced local coach Roger de Sa, remained 16th on the league standings with 17 points from 22 games. They six points behind 15th-placed Polokwane City, who have a game in hand.

De Sa will not be on the bench on Saturday as he will be serving his suspension. Dikwena will have to improve their home form if they are to survive relegation. They have scored only one goal in 10 home league matches this season.

Dikwena will face a stubborn Free State Stars side which was held to goalless draw by AmaZulu FC at home last weekend. Stars have been the surprise package of the season and they are unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions.

Ea Lla Koto are placed fifth on the league standings with 34 points from 22 games. Stars, who have been impressive under the guidance of Belgian coach Luc Eymael, are only two points behind second placed Pirates.

Stars, who are averaging 0.70 goals per game on the road in the league this season, have no suspensions to worry about, but Rooi Mahamutsa, Nyiko Mobbie and Sibusiso Hlubi are all one yellow card away from a ban.

Ea Lla Koto and Dikwena have met in 23 league matches since 2005/06 in head-to-head stats. Ea Lla Koto have registered seven wins compared to six for Dikwena, while 10 games have been drawn. The two teams drew 1-1 in Bethlehem in the first round game last October.