A must win for Arrows, Leopards

Golden Arrows face a must-win match against Black Leopards as they fight against the threat of relegation from the Absa Premiership.

The encounter takes place at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Wednesday evening, kick-off at 18h00.

This match was initially scheduled for February 25, but was postponed due to a security threat at the King Zwelithini Stadium.

Arrows have lost their last four league matches in succession, with the latest setback a 2-1 defeat at home to championship-chasing SuperSport United in the last round.

The KwaZulu-Natal side find themselves just two positions and three points above the foot of the table and the threat of relegation is all too real, especially now that the season has passed the halfway mark.

Coach Muhsin Ertugral, therefore, will be targeting this clash against bottom-of-the-log Black Leopards as the ideal opportunity to break his team’s losing streak and give them some much-needed confidence.

Leopards, like Arrows, have gone a long time without a win – their last three-pointer in the league came back in November last year, a 1-0 victory at AmaZulu.

However, Lidoda Duvha are not to be underestimated, as they showed great character to twice fight back from a goal down to salvage a 2-2 home draw with in-form Bloemfontein Celtic in the last round, before going on to secure a win away at Zimbabwean side Motor Action this past weekend which puts them into the next round of the CAF Confederation Cup.

That Leopards were in action just three days before this match will count in Abafana Bes’thende’s favour as far as possible fatigue is concerned, but Leopards may have the psychological advantage having trumped Arrows 2-0 (thanks to an own goal from Johannes and a strike by Nyirenda) when the teams met earlier this season.

Overall, the teams have met in 15 league games since 2001/02 and the Durban side have generally had the edge on their Polokwane opponents, claiming six wins to four while five matches have been drawn.

Abafana Bes’thende will be particularly determined to defend their proud home record against Leopards: in seven matches between the teams in KZN, Arrows are unbeaten with five wins and two draws.