Orlando Pirates - Free State Stars Preview: Buccaneers look to end their PSL campaign on a high
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Bucs are hoping to end the season on a winning note, while Ea Lla Koto are eyeing a top five finish

Orlando Pirates will square off with Free State Stars in a Premier Soccer League (PSL) match at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

The Buccaneers saw their eight-match unbeaten run in the league come to an end when they lost 1-0 to Cape Town City in the Mother City two weeks ago.

They had recorded seven wins and one draw during their unbeaten run. The Soweto giants have tasted one defeat at home in the league this season in 14 games.

Pirates have already secured a second-place finish in the league having accumulated 52 points from 29 matches and they will participate in next season’s Caf Champions League.

The Buccaneers are a free scoring team at home this season having netted 21 goals from 14 games - averaging 1.50 goals per match.

Luvuyo Memela, who is Bucs’ top scorer with five league goals, will miss the clash with Stars due to an injury and coach Milutin Sredojevic will look to Augustine Mulenga.

The Zambia international is in good form having netted three goals in five league games and he will be keen to inspire the Buccaneers to victory.

Influential midfielders Musa Nyatama and Mpho Makola are expected to miss the match after picking up injuries during the clash with Cape Town City.

Meanwhile, Stars extended their winless run to six games in the league when they drew 0-0 Polokwane City at home a fortnight ago.

Ea Lla Koto have registered three defeats and three draws during their current run having also failed to win their last three away matches.

Stars, who have already secured a top eight finish, are placed sixth on the league standings and they are only behind fifth-placed Maritzburg United on goal-difference.

They have struggled to score goals on the road in the league having netted 12 goals in 14 games - averaging 0.86 goals per match.

Coach Luc Eymael has revealed that he has a full-strength squad ahead of the clash with Bucs, and that Ea Lla Koto are prioritizing their upcoming Nedbank Cup final clash with Maritzburg United over the league game.  

The Belgian tactician is likely to rest Bangaly Keita, who is currently sitting with three yellow cards and the defender is one booking away from suspension.

Siphelele Mthembu, who has netted five goals in the league this season, will look to haunt Bucs by playing an instrumental role in helping Stars win.

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In head-to-head stats, Stars and Pirates have clashed in 56 league matches since 1986. 

Bucs have recorded 25 victories compared to Ea Lla Koto’s nine wins, while 22 game have been drawn. 

Stars edged out Pirates 2-1 in the first round league game which was played at Goble Park last December.

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