Bucs hope to mount Stars on their tree

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Orlando Pirates are going for broke against Free State Stars tomorrow night in their last official game on home soil this year.

The two clubs meet at Johannesburg Stadium in what is bound to be a nail-biting Absa Premiership clash, scheduled to get under way at 6pm.

It was initially scheduled for 3.30pm but changed to later in the evening to accommodate live television coverage by SuperSport.

"We need to give our supporters a memorable Christmas gift in the form of a win over Stars," said Owen da Gama, Bucs' coach.

"It is our last game at home in 2007, we really need to impress because the last fixture of the year will be away against AmaZulu.

"It will be a tough game, especially when you consider that Stars are coming from a midweek defeat [2-0 to Moroka Swallows].

"We expect them to come out like wounded tigers, they have been doing well this season and are chasing the championship title."

On their 1-1 drawn game midweek game against Platinum Stars, Da Gama said: "We scored early and started relaxing. We should also have been awarded a penalty after George Mofokeng handled the ball. However, I must say we are happy with the performance of the team."

In the absence of the suspended Lucky Lekgwathi, Da Gama is spoilt for choice in terms of a replacement between Lehlohonolo Seema, Kelebohile Mabe and Happy Jele.

Kennah Phiri, Ea Lla Koto's head coach, said they had already recovered from the defeat by the high-flying Dube Birds.

"It will be a tough game, but we are ready for Pirates. They have been on song lately, especially youngsters like Excellent Walaza and Bennet Chenene."

Stars' camp this week resembles a hospital ward with Fanyana Dhladhla, Sipho Nkosi, Juju Mbuyane and Chintu Kampamba nursing an assortment of injuries. But they have other equally good players in Diyo Sibisi, Duncan Lechesa and Matome Madimabe

l See Teko Modise answer our questions on page 53 .