stars lean on sheppard

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

Many saw Platinum Stars' acquisition of winger Dillon Sheppard as a huge coup for the increasingly ambitious North West side.

Snatched from Mamelodi Sundowns where his contribution to their success was innumerable, Sheppard could make the starting line-up for Stars against Orlando Pirates on Sunday.

At Stars, Sheppard would like to continue doing what he does best - provide goals for the likes of Luis Renteria and Phumudzo Manenzhe.

Kickoff is at 3.30pm at Olympia Stadium.

With all his experience, Sheppard should find it easy to help his team cope with the Buccaneers, who are desperately trying to stay connected to the title-chasing pack.

"This team has what it takes to be one of the best in the country - it's only a question of believing in ourselves," said Sheppard.

"We need points, our aim is to get back into the Top 8, and I'm here to help make that happen."

Stars will miss Godfrey Sapula, Henrico Botes and Hareaipha Marumo who are out injured.

Pirates - who welcome Katlego Mashego back from suspension - will miss Bennett Chenene and Lebogang Mothibantwa due to injury.

Still, Dikgang Mabalane thinks that now that the league championship has been thrown wide open, it is time his team made a decisive move.

"The title is up for grabs and I guess we are in with a chance, like everyone else. We need the maximum points so we can be in a better position to take advantage of what happened midweek," said Mabalane.

To him, Pirates should have collected all six points in their last two matches and should take this opportunity against the 12th placed Tycoons to make amends.

At Super Stadium tomorrow, a disappointed Mamelodi Sundowns welcome Santos at 3.30pm.

Downs failed to take advantage of United's loss on Wednesday and could only gain a point against Free State Stars.

Coach Henri Michel was at a loss to pinpoint how he could remedy the situation.

"The players show a lot of commitment, but we falter only with that last assist, that last shot. That has been our weakness."