the AmaZulu team  ahead of their match against Black Leopards  on 15 December. Photo: Lebo Edgar/BackpagePix
the AmaZulu team ahead of their match against Black Leopards on 15 December. Photo: Lebo Edgar/BackpagePix
Team hug for goal scorer Nkanyiso Mngwengwe, Captain of Lamontville Golden Arrows during the match against Polokwane City at Princess Magogo Stadium on 29 August 2018. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix
Team hug for goal scorer Nkanyiso Mngwengwe, Captain of Lamontville Golden Arrows during the match against Polokwane City at Princess Magogo Stadium on 29 August 2018. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

DURBAN – The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) derby between AmaZulu and Lamontville Golden Arrows at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi on Saturday at 3.30pm will present an opportunity for both sides to get back to winning ways and run away from the relegation zone.

Usuthu suffered a huge set-back this past weekend as they were defeated 3-1 by Black Leopards in Thohoyandou Stadium in Limpopo in an Absa Premiership showdown.

AmaZulu lost their four game unbeaten record against Leopards and will be eyeing to keep their good form at home intact.

The likes of Baroka FC, Free State Stars and Bloemfontein Celtic have all bitten the dust in Umlazi while Mamelodi Sundowns, Orlando Pirates, Polokwane City and Maritzburg United had to settle for a point each. AmaZulu are difficult customers at home, and are now 11th on the log with 13 points after 14 games. They are two points ahead of bottom-of-the-table Baroka FC, and a win will give them some breathing space heading into Christmas break.

A,maZulu will be looking to replicate the performance which saw them shooting down Arrows 2-1 at Umlazi last season.

Only three points separate AmaZulu and Arrows, and if AmaZulu win, they will level with Arrows on 16 points. But on the other hand, Abafana Bes’thende have been the kings of draws away from home. They have shared the spoils against the likes Cape Town City, Orlando Pirates, Free State Stars, SuperSport United and Wits while beating Maritzburg United away from home. Baroka and Highlands Park are the only sides to beat Arrows away from home.

If Arrows beat Usuthu they will stretch the gap between themselves and the relegation candidates. They are currently five points clear of Baroka, so another draw away from home won’t be bad for Arrows. So, there’s a lot at stake in the KZN derby.

Match day experience for soccer fans: Kick For A Million

To build on the success of the competition from last season, Absa is once again changing many lives through the Kick for Million competition throughout the 2018/19 Absa Premiership season.

On match day, six fans are chosen ahead of the start of the game at the respective stadium to kick against an Absa Premiership legendary goalkeeper in a sudden death competition during halftime.

At the end of the contest, each runner-up will receive R1,000 and the winner of the round will take home R5,000.

The winner of the final round then automatically becomes a finalist to Kick for a Million at the trophy handover match at the end of the season in May 2019.

In the build-up to Saturday's KZN derby, Absa will host roadshows in Umlazi on Thursday, December 20 at Mega City Mall from 1pm to 5pm and Friday, December 21 at Eyadini Lounge from 3pm – 5pm.

And on match day, Absa will be bringing fans the ultimate match day experience through the Woza Nazo Absa Red Zone, where over a 1 000 soccer fans will get access to an exclusive area where there will be entertainment, food, refreshments and Woza Nazo merchandise ahead of the match.

The Absa Red Zone will be located on the outer field at King Zwelithini stadium, and open from 12pm until 2.30pm on December 22.

* This article was published in partnership with Absa.

@Minenhlecr7

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