Aces hope to give Stars the royal flush

Mpumalanga Black Aces and Free State Stars will look to return to winning ways in the Absa Premiership when they meet at the Kanyamazane Stadium on Monday afternoon, kick-off at 15h30.

The fixture was originally scheduled to take place on the weekend, but due to the passing of South Africa’s former president, Nelson Mandela, all league fixtures were postponed.

It in turn has allowed both teams to reflect on their respective losses and thoroughly prepare for their next fixture which sees Aces come into the game on the back of inconsistent form.

Clive Barker’s men stunned the title chasers Mamelodi Sundowns with a win earlier in December, but couldn’t mirror the positive result when they fell 2-1 to Polokwane City.

Experienced campaigner Dennis Masina says his Aces’ teammates are going all out when they welcome the Ea Lla Koto.

“We can’t brag about the win over Sundowns because we messed up against Polokwane City,” says the Swazi player.

“We are looking forward to the game against Free State Stars - our plan is to fight for the win. We know they weren’t lucky against Tuks but we have to focus on us.”

Masina also went on to mention that Monday’s adversaries can’t be underestimated despite the departure of Steve Komphela as the club’s head coach.

“Free State Stars have lost their coach and they want to prove something. They will be coming out fighting and we are prepared for them,” continued the 31-year-old.

“We know they are wounded animals, but we want the three points and this game is at home so it is our advantage.

“There are six points up for grabs in these last two games and we want all six.”

Similarly, Free State Stars also enter into the public holiday’s affair off back-to-back defeats to Kaizer Chiefs and the University of Pretoria respectively with the former result sparking the departure of Komphela.

Themba Sithole was brought in to replace his opposite number and midfielder Angelo Kerspuy says they have no option, but to come away with a win come the fulltime whistle.

“We have been struggling to score but we have been creating chances. Defensively we have been ok but we need to improve,” says Kerspuy.

“There are two games left and we can move into the top eight if we win both. We don’t want to be caught fighting in the second half of the season chasing points.

“We have to win, we have no choice.”