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Football | Absa Premiership

Dikwena visit struggling Arrows



Platinum Stars will look to intensify their challenge for the Absa Premiership title when they visit Lamontville Golden Arrows at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday, kick-off at 3pm.

Dikwena brought themselves to within three points of log leaders Kaizer Chiefs with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Maritzburg United in their last league encounter.

They go into this match straight from Nedbank Cup semifinal loss, having gone down 3-2 to SuperSport United after extra time on Wednesday night.

However, coach Cavin Johnson says his side will be able to put that disappointment behind them and focus on the crucial league fixture.

“I don’t think it will be very hard to get the players to pick their heads up because they are professionals,” said Johnson.

“We went into the cup semifinal with the intention to win the game but it was not to be and now we have to focus on the league and try to win our next game.

Dikwena are placed second on the Absa Premiership log with 53 points from 28 matches and have a decent record away from home having won six and drawn two of the 14 games played on the road so far.

“We have to play as hard as we can, play an attractive brand of football and try to score as many goals as we can because in the end that’s what we need the most,” added Johnson.

“We’re really going there to put pressure on Arrows and I’m sure they’ll try to do the same because they are in a difficult position on the log.

“At this stage of the season every game is unique so we are not going to judge them on their previous results but look at this game as a final for both teams.”

Arrows will be desperate to end their three match losing streak following their 4-1 away loss to Moroka Swallows which has put them back in the danger zone.

Abafana Bes’thende are placed 13th on the Absa Premiership log with 28 points from as many matches and striker Bongi Ntuli says collecting maximum points from this penultimate match will be crucial for them.

“It’s a game that we can’t afford to lose,” said Ntuli. “We can’t afford to go into the last game of the season with so much pressure on our shoulders so we have to get a positive result from this game.

“Platinum Stars have been playing good football throughout the season and they are still fighting for the league title, but we are not concerned with that and only thinking about the three points at stake for both teams.

“It’s going to be a do-or-die game for both teams but if we still to our plans and our strengths, then we can win the game and make our fans proud.”

Arrows will be without the injured Thanduyise Khuboni, Thamsanqa Gabuza and Siyanda Zwane, as well as the suspended goalkeeper Nkosingiphile Gumede.

Dikwena, on the other hand, will be missing the services of experienced strikers Henrico Botes and Patrick Malokase, who are both injured, while Tintswalo Tshabalala will be serving suspension.

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