AmaZayoni will be boosted by the return of tough-as-teak centre-back Mbulelo ‘OJ’ Mabizela and the speedy winger, Thabo ‘Section’ Qalinge. Mabizela pulled out prior to the City match last week with an ankle sprain while Qalinge missed out due to a suspension.
Mabizela’s centre-back partner Method Mwanjale is suspended for this tie but in his place, Ofentse Nato is expected to step in with the evergreen Abel Mabaso and captain Zamuxolo ‘Eddie’ Ngalo completing the backline at right and left-back respectively.
But their last line of defence will be without the injured Jackson Mabokgwane, however Bafana Nhlapo has been brilliant in the absence of the on-loan Wits keeper.
Miquel Timm and Sandile Zuke will look to play Stars’ Paulus Masehe and Mongezi Bobe off the park in midfield, with Qalinge and Themba Zwane’s pace out on the wings good enough to trouble their full backs.
Abia Nale is nursing an injury he sustained against City last week and will not make the travelling squad and results from his scan to determine the extent of his knock are still outstanding.
Tendai Ndoro, who has scored an impressive 7 goals in 15 matches for Aces, has forged a great partnership with Mabhudi Khenyeza upfront with Onyekachi Okonkwo expected to enter the fray off the bench.
When the two teams clashed at the KaNyamazane Stadium in December last year, Stars gave a good account of themselves but it was AmaZayoni who walked away with the full points with Mabizela’s header enough to win the tie 1-0.
Since the 1986 season when the rivalry between the two sides resumed, Stars hold the upper hand in terms of the head-to-head record. Stars have claimed 11 wins and as many draws against Aces, who have won six in 28 encounters.