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Football | Absa Premiership

Delron Buckley and Enva Wilter © Gallo Images

Maritzburg target Free State Stars



Free State Stars and Maritzburg United will lock horns in an Absa Premiership match on Wednesday evening to be played at Charles Mopeli Stadium in Bethlehem, kick-off at 18h00.

Only three points separates these two teams on the standings.

Both these sides will be looking to bounce back from weekend defeats at the hands of the ‘giants of South African football’.

United were outclassed 3-0 by a resurgent Mamelodi Sundowns outfit last Friday night and then just 24-hours later Stars surrendered the lead to lose 2-1 to log leaders Kaizer Chiefs.

Ea Lla Koto has a good track record at home this season. They have four wins, four draws and just one loss from nine matches played in front of their home supporters.

The Free State side are placed fourth on the Absa Premiership log with 28 points from 18 matches.

Stars coach Steve Komphela is confident that his side can overcame the loss against Chiefs and secure positive results in the coming matches.

“We are playing as a team and are very effective which is what we must try by all means to keep,” explains the Stars coach.

“From here on we just have to look forward to the following match [against Maritzburg] and take it a match at a time.”

“We are still in fourth spot and despite losing we still have a good chance to collect vital points.”

Just a place behind Ea Lla Koto on the standings is the Natal outfit in fifth place, who have amassed 25 points from their 18 matches.

The Team of Choice has a very good away record this season. They have recorded four wins on the road with three draws and just one defeat. However, the defeat against ‘Downs was their fourth in six league matches.

United keeper Shu-Aib Walters says that his will bounce back from a so far winless 2013 and the match against Stars is the perfect opportunity to lose the gap between the two teams as it is seen as a potential six pointer.

“Well the problem at this point is that it is difficult to solely focus on one match in a time because of the tight fixture schedule,” the shot-stopper said.

“We are hoping to keep it tight at the back when we face Stars because that will give us confidence in attack too. It is worrying that we have not won a match yet this year but we are still fifth on the log which is the most important aspect right now.”

Stars and Maritzburg have met 11 times in the league since 2005/06. Ea Lla Koto has claimed four wins, while the remaining seven games have all ended in draws.

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