Saturday's Joint PSL Preview: Baroka travel to Free State Stars, AmaZulu and Golden Arrows square off in Durban Derby

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Stars took over from Baroka as one of PSL's dark horses towards the end of 2017, but Thobejane's men could reclaim their spot in the top five today

Free State Stars will play host to Baroka FC at Goble Park Stadium, desperate to return to winning ways. 

Ea Lla Koto have won three of their last five games, but they dropped five points in their last two league matches to slip to fifth on the PSL log. 

They go into the encounter on Saturday on the back of a goalless draw at Ajax Cape Town.

What's worrying for Luc Eymael's side is that they failed to find the back of the net in their last two games. The sooner they regain their goalscoring touch the better, especially now that Mamelodi Sundowns appear to be running away with the league title. 

Baroka on the other hand, haven't been struggling upfront, but their defensive frailties have been exposed badly so far this season. 

The fact that they have conceded four goals in their last two games could force Kgoloko Thobejane to change things around at the back. 

Virgil Vries has managed a single cleansheet in his last five matches. The former Maritzburg United goalkeeper will need to get his house in order in the remaining matches of the season.

Whoever wins on the day will make a big jump on the log table - Stars could temporarily move up to second on the log, while Baroka would overtake Eymael's charges to position five with a win in the Free State. 

This has been a closely contested affair in the past, with Baroka winning two and Stars recording a single victory over their Limpopo-based opponents in the last three competitive matches between them. 

Gift Motupa is one player Ea Lla Koto should keep a close eye on. The former South Africa youth international has scored eight goals this campaign, and he's hot on the heels of Rodney Ramagalela in the PSL's goalscoring charts.  

Stars will pin their hopes on Mohamed Anas, who has scored three goals this season, but it is Sinethemba Jantjie who could be instrumental coming from deep.

The Bethlehem-based club has not scored in the opening 15 minutes of their matches this season, but they have been scoring for fun between 15-90 minutes thus far. 

Baroka meanwhile, attack from the first whistle, but the majority of their goals (24 percent) have come in the final 15 minutes of each half this term. 

In the other match, AmaZulu and Golden Arrows will battle it out at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday night. 

Usuthu have hit form at the right time, and they're gradually moving up the ladder. They are unbeaten in their last four matches having registered two draws and two wins.  

Arrows on the other hand, have won just once in their last four matches. 

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Three of AmaZulu's leading goalscorers have scored 10 goals between them - Rhulani Manzini (5), Mhlengi Cele (3) and Ovidy Karuru (2). 

Clinton Larsen's front three has contributed 12 goals between them so far this season. Siphelele Magubane, Kudakwashe Mahachi and Knox Mutizwa have all scored four goals each this season. 

The last time these two teams met, Arrows thumped AmaZulu 4-1 at the Princess Magogo Stadium, with the aforementioned trio all find the back of the net for Abafana Bes'thende on the day. 

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