Bucs aim to bounce back against struggling Stars
Orlando Pirates will hope to bounce back from their weekend loss against Mamelodi Sundowns when they visit struggling Free State Stars at Charles Mopeli Stadium in Qwa-Qwa on Wednesday night, kickoff at 19:30 CAT.
The Buccaneers were beaten by brilliant Sundowns on Saturday night, and they will hope to return to winning ways in the expense of relegation candidates Free State Stars. Ea Lla Koto are second from bottom and same level on points with rock bottom side Golden Arrows on 13.
Orlando Pirates will need to start picking up points if they are to catch runaway rivals and leaders Kaizer Chiefs who are on 39 points and sixteen points ahead of seventh-places Bucs, but have played 17 times compared to 13 of their rivals.
The trip to the chilly weather in Qwa-Qwa is always a tough task for the Johannesburg side, as they either come away with a point or empty handed mostly. The ground they are going to contest in is the same one where they were humbled by third tier and now second tie outfit Maluti FET College early in 2013 and got them crashing out of the Nedback Cup.
Both sides are guided by interim coaches as Orlando Pirates are coached by Eric Tinkler and he has already won two out his three matches compared to Themba Sithole who is yet to win at Stars since taking over late in November last year.
Elsewhere on Wednesday night, Platinum Stars will hope to climb further up on the table when they welcome on-form Bloemfontein Celtic at the Royal Bofokeng Stadium. Dikwena needed a last minute goal by Botswana international Mogakolodi Ngele to beat Free Sate Stars 1-0 in their last outing, while Siwelele beat University of Pretoria 2-0 to register their second win on the trot on last Sunday.
Platinum Stars coach, Allen Freese, whose side are fifth on the log with 26 points and four points richer than Celtic, says the Mangaung-based team are dangerous and their German coach Ernest Middernforp has put them on the right gear.
“Our match against Bloem Celtic will be a very tough encounter. Their coach has got them playing well and they seem to be doing a lot better these days. But if we pass the ball around and look to get forward we will do well,” Allen Freese to his club official website.
SuperSport United will be at home to bottom-half placed Mpumalanga Black Aces on the same night. Matsatsantsa A Pitori have been having mixture of results and in their last outing they were beaten by red-hot Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 to leave them fourth on the log with 26 points and 13 adrift of leaders.
Their chances of winning against former South Africa Afcon winning Cliver Barker might be boosted by the fact the Nelspruit-based side will be without former SuperSport United players Dennis Masina and Innocent Mdledle who are both suffering for different injuries.
Mpumalanga Black Aces are eleventh on the log with 17 points from 14 matches, and they are not safe as they are just four points off the relegation zone. But they played three games less than rock bottom Golden Arrows and two games less than Free State Stars who occupy 15th place which is a relegation playoff place.