Teams: Orlando Pirates v Free State Stars
Date: 13 April 2019
Venue: Orlando Stadium
Orlando Pirates will be aiming to stretch their lead at the top of the Absa Premiership table when they host Free State Stars on Saturday night.
Being knocked out of the continental tournament was probably a blessing in disguise as Pirates can manage their load well in pursuit of their first league title since the 2011/12 season.
Milutin Sredojevic’s men have won back-to-back games since a goalless stalemate against Mamelodi Sundowns in their first league match after the international break, beating Bidvest Wits last weekend and Black Leopards on Wednesday.
As a result, the Soweto giants are perched at the top of the table with 47 points, three points adrift of second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns and third placed Bidvest Wits.
In contrast, Ea Lla Koto are fighting for their lives, languishing second from bottom on the table with 24 points from as many matches.
Stars’ coach Nikola Kavazovic would be concerned about his charges’ match fitness as they have not played a competitive outing since 16 March when they beat AmaZulu 4-1 just before the international break.
Right after the FIFA break their match against Highlands Park was postponed last week due to the passing of Stars foward Sinethemba Jantjie.
Here’s how they line up:
Pirates: 30. Sandilands, 4. Jele, 33. Munetsi, 23. Maela, 28. Dube, 27. Motshwari, 14. Nyatama, 3. Lorch, 11. Memela, 12. Shonga, 17. Mulenga.
Subs: 16. Mabokgwane, 45. Pule, 4. Mabaso, 19. Chabalala, 31. Gabuza, 15. Qalinge, 5. Makola,
Stars: 30. Mbambo, 5. Masehe, 2. Mobbie, 20. Mbhele, 28. Mahamutsa, 29. Mathumo, 27. Tchilimbou, 4. Makhaula, 34. Kizza, 9. Rodgers, 15. Makhouane.
Subs: 23. Sangare, 21. Phungwayo, 19. Jappie, 26. Dlamini, 33. Khabane, 13. Masina, 7. Hlubi,