Reports & Previews

Highlands Park v Stellenbosch FC

Highlands Park will be looking to return to winning ways when they host Stellenbosch FC in the Absa Premiership at Makhulong Stadium on Saturday.

Highlands are coming off the back of a 3-0 defeat to Kaizer Chiefs, a game in which they were comprehensively outplayed. But the Lions of the North still occupy a very respectable sixth position in the standings.

Highlands are one of the fittest and most well-drilled sides in the league. They possess fantastic talent in Peter Shalulile, Mothobi Mvala and Rodney Ramagalela.

Mvala, Marks Munyai and Lindokuhle Mbatha are all one yellow card from a suspension and will need to watch their step. The Lions of the North still have three left-backs out with injury in Rae‚ Limbikani Mzava and Mbatha, with Luckyboy Mokoena set to continue to fill in at left-back.

Highlands have done remarkably well under Da Gama, finishing seventh in their maiden season in the top-flight before making it all the way to the MTN8 final, where they lost to SuperSport United.

Stellies, meanwhile, will be looking to pull themselves out of the relegation zone after suffering back-to-back defeats. This after having claimed a 1-0 victory over Baroka FC before that which had initially got them out of the danger zone only for them to fall back in.

One thing that the Cape side do pride themselves on is defensive resilience and a strong counter-attack. Iqraam Rayners and Waseem Isaacs provide plenty of firepower up front, but unfortunately the dangerous Rayners has been ruled out for three months.

This has meant former Kaizer Chiefs striker Ryan Moon has had to fill in and he has done a decent job, scoring crucial goals at times.

The previous meeting between the two former National First Division clubs ended in a goalless stalemate at Cape Town Stadium.

And Stellies coach Steve Barker wants his side to show more attacking intent than they did on that occasion as they look to avoid a third consecutive defeat in seven days.