Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Absa Premiership

Harris Tchilimbou © Backpage Pix

Stars welcome Chippa in basement battle

Free State Stars will look to bounce back from a heavy Absa Premiership defeat when they host Chippa United at Goble Park Stadium in Bethlehem on Saturday evening.

Kick-off is at 6:00pm.

Stars were on the wrong end of a 5-0 score line when they faced Cape Town City last time out. It was a fifth defeat from their last six league matches. The Free State side’s last scheduled match (at home to Polokwane City on 2 February) was postponed.

Ea Lla Koto have claimed 11 points from nine home matches this season, with their last result as hosts a 2-1 loss to Bidvest Wits in early January.

Chippa have picked up four points from their last two matches, with their most recent outing a 1-1 draw away to fellow relegation battlers Baroka FC earlier this month.

The Chilli Boys have claimed just five points from 10 away matches this season. The Eastern Cape side has yet to pick up a win on the road in 2018-19.

When the teams met earlier this season, at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in early October 2018, Chippa claimed a 1-0 win at home thanks to a second-half strike from Ruzaigh Gamildien. It extended the Chilli Boys’ unbeaten run in the rivalry to six league matches.

Most Recent Starting 11:

Chippa United: Mzimela, Macheke, Nsabiyumva, Shitolo, Tlolane, Rakhale, Malepe (Malama 67’), Komane, Mbenyane (Gamildien 65’), Lentjies, R. Manzini (L. Manzini 81’).

Free State Stars: Sangare, Mobbie, Mahamutsa, Mbhele, Phungwayo, Jappie (Maruping 70’), Makhaula, Mokhuoane, Dlamini (Jantjie 64’), Tchilimbou (Rodgers 75’), Hlubi.

What They Said:

Free State Stars head coach Nikola Kavazovic:

“I told my players, they lost 2-0 and I lost 5-0,” Kavazovic said following his side’s heavy defeat away to Cape Town City.

“Trust me, if I wanted to protect 2-0, the game would not finish with that big score.

“I don’t have any objections with my players. It’s my responsibility that we lost this game. We are playing well and playing great football.

“I am not worried about it or ashamed of the result. I can assure you my players did not lose one percentage of self-confidence. I can promise we will come back much stronger and maybe this defeat will be good for them to keep them grounded.”

Chippa United head coach Clinton Larsen

“I’ve done a simple calculation, that when I took over, there were 13 games left. I targeted that in every three games we should get five points. We want to get 35 points, which means you are knocking on the top eight,” said Larsen.

“We will take it one game at a time. We already got four points from two games.

“The important thing for us is to pick up points against our neighbours at the bottom. We did it against Maritzburg, we did it against Baroka and we need to do it against Free State Stars. Those are the teams at the bottom and if we, like I said, keep putting points on the board, we’ll get out of the situation easily.”

Key Players:

Free State Stars

Harris Tchilimbou: Tchilimbou is Ea Lla Koto’s top scorer this season, and Kavazovic will be counting on the Congolese attacker to come up with the goods on home soil this weekend as Stars’ aim to get one over their fellow relegation rivals. Two of his four goals this season came in home wins.

Rooi Mahamutsa: Alongside fellow experienced head Paulus Masehe - who was suspended for the club’s 5-0 drubbing in the Mother City - Mahamutsa will be key to restoring morale in Bethlehem. Having made history in the Nedbank Cup last season, the wheels are threatening to come off as the Free State club prepare for yet another relegation scrap.

Chippa United

Rhulani Manzini: The man with one of the fiercest shots in the league looks a striker reborn under Larsen. If Chippa are to finally stringing together a decent unbeaten run in their attempt to climb the log standings, Manzini’s influence could prove pivotal as they now set their sights on downing another relegation rival.

Frederic Nsabiyumva: The Burundi international has been rock solid at the back for Chippa of late, and Larsen’s ability to tighten up a leaky defence has been key to a run of decent results for the Chilli Boys. The burly centre-back has played an integral role in their turnaround in fortunes of late.


More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Latest Video Highlights