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HIGHLY CHARGED AFFAIR EXPECTED AS DIKWENA HOST PIRATES
HIGHLY CHARGED AFFAIR EXPECTED AS DIKWENA HOST PIRATES
It may not have the status of a derby but a clash between Platinum Stars and Orlando Pirates usually produces breathtaking fireworks.

Whenever the two sides lock horns sparks fly with a thrilling encounter on show. Once again Dikwena and Pirates meet at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Place, Rustenburg in what is set to be an Absa Premiership explosive encounter this Monday at 5pm. With Dikwena on position fourth on the Absa Premiership table with 44 points, Cavin Johnson’s men will want to get all the points at the expense of sixth placed Pirates, who have 39 points. With just a few matches remaining, players from both sides are set to take on each other competitively as both Stars and Pirates want to finish high up on the log.

What Makes Dikwena and Bucs clash peculiar?
For years Stars and Pirates have exchanged players either on loan or right out sale. Currently in both sides’ teams there’s close to 10 players who have donned jerseys of Stars and Pirates. Dikwena players Solomon Mathe, Ndumiso Mabena, Siyabonga Zulu, Mduduzi Nyanda and Tlou Segolela are all former Pirates players. Pirates also have Siyabonga Mpontshane, Tshepo Gumede, Lehlogonolo Masalesa and Issa Sarr, who have all played for Dikwena previously. Whenever these players come up against their former team, they always up their game in order to prove a point. This has good effect on the quality of the football that is dished out on the day. Even in this Monday’s clash, those who will get a chance to play are expected to be on their best and fans will be the biggest beneficiaries.

Look out for:
Ndumiso Mabena (Stars)
Dikwena’s leading scorer with eight goals so far this season has been in great form. He has played a critical role in helping Dikwena to be where they are on the log this season. Mabena plays a critical role in not just scoring but also in creating chances for his teammates. He is set to play pivotal role in harassing his former teammates in order to help Dikwena amass the maximum points. If Mabena takes his scoring boots to the pitch, chances of Stars getting victory are high. When the two sides met earlier this year Mabena was on the score sheet. Sarr scored for Pirates during a 1-1 draw at Orlando Stadium.

Tendai Ndoro (Pirates)
The Buccaneers striker has hit a vein of form in the last 10 matches where he scored as many goals. His resurrection has benefitted Pirates immensely. Coach Eric Tinkler will look to him for goals. His teammates will also be looking for him when they have the ball. Dikwena will do well to keep an eye on Ndoro.

Memorable previous encounters:
In 2013, Dikwena and Pirates met in two cup finals, which were all won by Stars. They met in the final of the MTN8 at Moses Mabhida Stadium where Stars triumphed by 3-1 on penalties after 1-1 in regulation time. Robert Ngambi scored for Dikwena while Thabo Matlaba found the net for Pirates. Few months later Dikwena and Pirates met in the final of the Telkom Knockout at Mbombela Stadium and again Dikwena emerged victorious courtesy on Mogakolodi Ngele’s brace. Lucky Lekgwathi had scored for Pirates before Ngele stole the show. Interestingly Ngele, a former Stars playmaker, has scored more goals for Stars against Pirates than any other player.

Today many will head to the venue hoping for another classic show. Their expectations are justified given that the duel between the two sides has always lived up to great standards.

Posted: 02-05-2016
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