Sport / Phakaaathi / Local Soccer

PSL Media
2 minute read
5 Jan 2018
5:56 pm

Wits hope to start on a high

PSL Media

BidVest Wits will welcome Free State Stars in an Absa Premiership match at the BidVest Stadium tonight.

James Keene of Bidvest Wits challenges Makhahleni Makhaula of Free State Stars during the 2016 Nedbank Cup Quarter Final match between Free State Stars and Bidvest Wits on 23 April 2016 at Goble Park Stadium Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Kick-off is at 8pm.

The Clever Boys are winless in their last six league matches having lost 1-0 to Platinum Stars at home just before the mid-season break.

The defeat left the defending champions placed 16th on the league log with 11 points from 14 games. They are four points behind 14th-placed Platinum Stars, who have played 15 games.

Meanwhile, Free State Stars recorded their second successive win in the league when they edged out Orlando Pirates 2-1 at home last month.

As a result, Ea Lla Koto are placed fifth on the league standings with 22 points from 15 matches. They are two points behind second-placed Cape Town City.

Previous starting line-ups:

BidVest Wits: Keet: Frosler, Hlatshwayo, Mkhwanazi, Hlanti, Ntshangase, Monare, Klate, Claasen, Mhango, Rodgers.

Free State Stars: Sangare, Mobbie, Keita, Teyise, Makhaula, Potsane, Masehe, Vilakazi, Jantjie, Dlamini, Mthembu.

What are the teams saying

Bidvest Wits head coach Gavin Hunt: “Yes, we are looking forward to our game against Free State Stars,” he said.

“We want to start the new year on a winning note. We are going all out for a victory at home. Our preparations are on track, even though, we have one or two players, who are out nursing injuries. But the team is looking forward to the game.”

Free State Stars head coach Luc Eymael: “Well, Wits have been very busy in the Transfer Window signing players as they look to improve the quality of their squad,” he said.

“Although, Wits have been struggling in the league, we cannot underestimate them. They are the current league champions. They will try their best to defeat us. We have to be ready for them. We want to continue doing well.”

BidVest Wits key players

Darren Keet: The lanky goalkeeper has regained his place in the Wits starting-line-up ahead of Moeneeb Josephs. The former South Africa youth international will be keen to keep a clean sheet against Stars.

Daine Klate: The veteran midfielder, who has made 10 league appearances this season, remains a key player for Wits. The 32-year-old will be looking to use his experience to help Wits end their winless run.

Free State Stars key players

Paulus Masehe: The hard-working defender-cum-midfielder has been one of Stars’ most consistent performers this season. The Stars captain will be eager to lead his side to victory in Braamfontein.

Sinethemba Jantjie: The 28-year-old midfielder is enjoying his football at Stars having scored the winning goal against Pirates last month. The attacker will be hoping to score again and help his side overcome Wits.