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Football | Absa Premiership

Clinton Larsen © Gallo Images

Arrows, SuperSport out to end winless streak



Golden Arrows and SuperSport United will be eager to bring an end to their respective winless streaks when they go head-to-head in an Absa Premiership fixture at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Kick-off is at 3.30pm CAT.

Arrows kicked off the New Year with a 2-1 defeat away to Bloemfontein Celtic. The result extended their winless run in the league to 11 matches - a sequence in which they have claimed just seven points from a possible 33. Astonishing, if you consider the positive start to the campaign for the KwaZulu Natal outfit.

Abafana Bes’thende have claimed just seven points from eight home matches this season, with their last win as hosts coming back in mid-September when they thrashed Durban rivals AmaZulu 4-1. Their five home games since then have conjured four draws and one defeat.

SuperSport saw their winless streak in the league prolonged to seven matches with a 2-0 loss away to Bidvest Wits earlier this week. The Tshwane side managed to score just three goals in the sequence.

Matsatsantsa have claimed just five points from six away matches this season. Their only win on the road arrived back in August when they defeated Kaizer Chiefs 2-1.

In head-to-head stats, SuperSport and Arrows have met in 33 league matches since the 2000-01 season. Matsatsantsa have claimed 18 wins compared to nine for Abafana Bes’thende, while six games have been drawn. The Durban side has recorded five wins and suffered eight defeats from 16 home matches in the rivalry.

When the teams met earlier this season, United claimed a 3-0 home win on October 31 thanks to an opening goal from Reneilwe Letsholonyane and a brace from Aubrey Modiba.

Matsatsantsa are unbeaten in their last four league games against Arrows and have scored 12 goals in the series.

What they said:

Golden Arrows head coach Clinton Larsen

"The first half against Celtic was probably the worst I’ve seen the team play since I joined,” said Larsen. “We were awful from back to front.

"After some strong words at halftime and the introduction of [Danny] Venter, we started to impose ourselves on our opponents but the damage was done in the first half as we trailed 2-0.

"We went for broke, pulled one back, but could not get the equaliser. I think on the balance of play Celtic deserved to win.

"We showed in the second half what we are capable of doing but need to do so over 90 minutes if we are to break this terrible run."

SuperSport United head coach Eric Tinkler

“Not good enough, we need to improve heading into the next game. We were atrocious in the first half against Wits.

“The challenge now is obviously guys must understand that we need to now collect points. We keep saying, 'Ah, we have games in hand,' but I've said from day one that games in hand mean nothing, points are what counts.

"The players now must come to that harsh reality, the honeymoon period is over – what you achieved then [in the Caf Confederation Cup and Telkom Knockout Cup] means absolutely nothing in this game. It's about the now.”

KEY PLAYERS:

Golden Arrows

Thomas Chideu: The former Ajax Cape Town forward has been restricted to cameo appearances off the bench in his time at Arrows. But, having impressed in doing so, Larsen could well be inclined to give the Zimbabwe national a run out from the get-go.

Limbikani Mzava: The Malawi international is an integral member of the Arrows defensive line and Larsen will be counting on the centre-back to keep things tight against an equally desperate SuperSport unit.

SuperSport United

Thabo Mnyamane: The forward’s return from injury will come as a timely boost for Matsatsantsa who could soon be without Jeremy Brockie who has been heavily linked with a move to Mamelodi Sundowns. Mnyamane’s trickery, pace and powerful left foot could well be the demise of Arrows.



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