Chippa United will be looking to return to winning ways, following Sunday’s 1-0 loss to Bloemfontein Celtic in the Absa Premiership
High-flying Chippa United take on Free State Stars in the PSL at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Wednesday night, looking to keep in touching distance with the league’s chasing pack by piling more and more misery on Ea lla Koto.
Sitting in 7th place, 13 points adrift of runaway leaders Kaizer Chiefs, Chippa have surprised all with their performances this season, under caretaker coach Roger Sikhakhane. They have managed to beat the likes of Orlando Pirates, Bidvest Wits while they held league champions Mamelodi Sundowns this season.
Free State Stars, on the other hand are a team in dire straits. Having just axed coach Tom Saintfiet, the Bethlehem-based club is now under the tutelage of Malawian-born Kinnah Phiri, also on an interim basis. They have played only a match under him so far, that being Saturday’s 2-0 defeat away to Bidvest Wits, a defeat that saw them getting dragged further down the quagmire in 14th place after 11 matches, 10 and 11 points ahead of the bottom-two Moroka Swallows and AmaZulu respectively.
The fact that they’ll be missing five key players for the trip to Port Elizabeth, like Adam Basit, Hendrick Somaeb, Rudolf Bester, Reuben Thebakang and Thabiso Maharala with all out due to injury, is the last thing they needed given that they need all of their arsenal to desperately gain points.
The Chilli Boys have a casualty of their own, in winger Joseph Molangoan, who is out with a broken shin and will only be back in action in January. Bafana Bafana striker David Zulu, along with former Mamelodi Sundowns striker Edward Manqele, will no doubt be the man that keeps the likes of Angula Da Costa and Ayanda Mtshali in the Stars rear-guard busy all night long.
Players like Richard Henyekane and Moeketsi Sekola will do likewise for Stars, to men like Bheki Nzunga and Tshepo Motsoeneng, who will be going up against his former employers for the first time since moving from Stars at the start of the season.
Like Stars, Chippa come off a defeat too, having lost 1-0 in Bloemfontein to Bloemfontein Celtic at the Free State Stadium on Sunday.