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Football | Absa Premiership

Cavin Johnson © Backpagepix

Arrows aiming to dim Stars



Golden Arrows will look to upset the form book when they visit high-flying Platinum Stars for their Absa Premiership clash at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday, kick-off at 8:15pm CAT (SA, GMT+2).

Abafana Bes’thende ended their four-game winless streak with a 2-0 home win over Moroka Swallows on Tuesday night.

Arrows also kept their first clean sheet in five games, and defender Musa Bilankulu, who has been pushed up to a central midfield role in recent games, believes the game could be their turning point.

“We went into the game knowing we had to win but we also knew that we had to be reasonable in how we attack and defend,” said Bilankulu.

“Defensively we were much better than in the previous game and it was also good to be able to score two goals, although we still missed other opportunities.”

Manqoba Mngqithi’s side have not travelled well so far this season, drawing three and losing three of the six games played on the road, and are currently in 12th place on the Absa Premiership log with 13 points from as many matches.

However, Bilankulu believes they can take positives from their most recent result and go for a positive result at a difficult venue.

“I believe our technical team has analysed Platinum Stars, their strengths and their weaknesses and we’ll go there with a suitable game plan,” he said. “They’ve been doing well, but we must focus on our own game.

“The moral is high after winning our game on Tuesday and we’ll fight to come back with three points or at least a point.

“It’s not going to be easy, they are an organised side and they are difficult to beat at home but we’ll try to be disciplined throughout the match.”

Dikwena, on the other side, have been more consistent in their recent outings, winning seven of their last eight league matches.

After the unexpected 2-1 loss to Chippa United, Stars bounced back to register back-to-back victories, beating Kaizer Chiefs 2-0 and Maritzburg United 1-0 in their most recent game.

Cavin Johnson’s men are placed third on the Absa Premiership log with 25 points from 13 matches and striker Thabani Mthembu says they are pleased with how they have turned their campaign around.

“We’re happy with the good results, we didn’t start very well, but it was understandable because we had many new players, but now I believe we are starting to gel,” he said.

“The win against Maritzburg was an important result, they were above us on the log when we went into the game and we have to beat the teams that are on form to move up the table.”

Stars have won five of the six games played at home so far and Mthembu believes they can maintain their good record by continuing to play as a team when they face Arrows.

“We have to keep working hard; all the teams are coming here to try and beat us and we have keep lifting our standards,” he added.

“Arrows will be a difficult side, they have good players and we have to respect them.

“Their morale is also high after beating Swallows but we have to carry on playing disciplined football and hopefully we’ll take all three points again.”

Last season Dikwena won this fixture 1-0 with Thuso Phala scoring the only goal of the match.

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