JOHANNESBURG - Orlando Pirates have a terrible record in the league against Free State Stars in Ea Lla Koto’s backyard, and they face a tough task if they are going to turn it around at Goble Park on Saturday.
Pirates haven’t beaten Stars away from home in the league for six years now. Their last joy in the Free State was back in January of 2011. Pirates triumphed that day courtesy of strikes from Tlou Segolela and Andile Jali.
Since then they have found the going tough in the Free State in league matches. Last season Pirates succumbed 3-2 to Stars.
Moeketsi Sekola, Paulus Masehe and Mohamed Anas were on the score-sheet for Stars while an own goal by Thela Ngobeni and a Tendai Ndoro penalty gave Pirates hope, but in the end Stars emerged victorious after a tough tussle.
Ayanda Nkosi, who is now at Pirates, netted the winner for Stars in a 1-0 success in 2015/16 when the two sides met that season.
Pirates are at least enjoying some decent form as they head to face their bogey side, they are unbeaten in their last four matches.
They have won once against Bloemfontein Celtic and played out to three stalemates against Lamontville Golden Arrows, AmaZulu and SuperSport United.
They will be hoping to turn their draws in to wins against Stars. The two sides played out a 1-1 draw in 2014/15.
It was the same story in 2013/14 and 2012/13. Noah Chivuta’s strike was enough to earn Stars the maximum points against Bucs in 2011/12.
Stars will not be at full strength when they face Pirates. Patrick Phungwayo is suspended after receiving his marching orders on Wednesday. But Ea LIa Koto will be full of confidence after beating SuperSport in that match.
Pirates are second on the log with 20 points after 14 league matches. They are five points behind the pace-setting Mamelodi Sundowns.
Pirates are the kings of draws this season. They have dropped 16 points. One of their main problems has been goal scoring. They have netted only 10 times in 14 matches.