Cavin Johnson wants the best from his team against Free State Stars today. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Amazulu want to keep their home record intact as they gear up to meet Free State Stars in an Absa Premiership tussle at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi this afternoon at 3pm.

Usuthu got the better of Baroka FC 1-0 at home thanks to a well-taken strike by Sinethemba Sithebe in their first of game of the season.

Today they will welcome a Stars side which lost their last encounter 3-0 to Kaizer Chiefs in the MTN8.

AmaZulu coach, Cavin Johnson has emphasised the importance of consistency at home.

“It is always going to be difficult against Free State Stars. They are a good team. They will want to come back strong after losing to Kaizer Chiefs in the MTN8. We are back again at King Zwelithini Stadium. For sure, we want to keep our momentum. That’s always important for AmaZulu. Whoever comes to King Zwelithini must be prepared to fight. That’s the mentality we want to instill in our players," Johnson said.

Stars are yet to rediscover the form that made them fearsome last season where they won the Nedbank Cup and finished sixth on the log.

They were thumped 3-0 by a red hot Bidvest Wits side in their opening fixture and then bounced back with a 2-1 victory against Maritzburg United at home.

That result was followed by the humiliating 3-0 loss against Amakhosi in the MTN8.

Like Stars, Usuthu have also blown hot and cold. They succumbed to a 1-0 defeat SuperSport United in their last game.

Usuthu’s star midfielder, Ovidy Karuru has recovered from his injury but he is unlikely to start today against Stars.

“Ovidy is back at training. Whether he can play the full 90 minutes, it is still in the air," Johnson said.

"He had a very bad injury in the Cosafa Cup. We need to take that in to consideration. If he is able to play, he can play half an hour. Maybe we will put him in but we need also put it in the back of our minds that there’s still 30 games to play in the season. We may even play 38 if you look at cup games. We need to be mindful of that and not push players in to early because you may lose him for six months, “ he added.

Usuthu missed Sibusiso Mabiliso because of an injury in their last match. Asked if he has recovered, Johnson replied: “Mabiliso is available for selection. Sadat Ouro-Akoriko is still out. It wasn’t an easy knock that he got against Baroka FC. We have to nurse him.”

Sunday Tribune

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