There is one catch-up game in the Absa Premiership this weekend as Absa Premiership-starved fans get an early taster before next week’s full round of fixtures.
Free State Stars and University of Pretoria clash at Goble Park on Sunday when the hosts will be aiming to make the most of home advantage in the first of two games against relegation-threatened teams at the venue in the coming days.
Ea Lla Koto also play Jomo Cosmos in Bethlehem next Saturday and back-to-back-wins could vault them into the top eight, depending on the outcome of some of the other matches.
In any case, three points this week is likely to rocket them up from 13th to seventh position. The Free Staters presently have 11 points, while Lamontville Golden Arrows in seventh are on 14. Leapfrogging the Durbanites could also boil down to goal differnce.
Ersnt Middendorp’s side also have a slightly better head-to-head record with Tuks, one that reads six matches played, two wins to Stars, one to their opponents and three draws.
In-form striker Andrea Fileccia is looking forward to the clash, saying they have worked long hours during the current league break just to ensure they end the year strongly.
“We have been working very hard during the break, improving on our fitness and match sharpness,” the Belgian, who is expected to return from injury, said.
“Hopefully we will reap the rewards when we play Tuks and Cosmos. We are targeting maximum points from both matches.”
Coach Middendorp is also hoping to end 2015 with a bang.
“There are still two matches to go before the Christmas break. We’ll try to pick up as many points as possible from those two home matches.”
As for Tuks, they are in desperation mode. The Pretoria side have managed just one win from nine games and presently sit second bottom on the table. Their only three pointer came way back in August, while Sammy Troughton’s side have lost four out of their last five outings for a total of five points.
Even a win will not take them above third last Cosmos.
Kick-off for the game is at 15h30.