Golden Arrows have been formidable at home this season and the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium will be a tough venue for struggling Stellenbosch to visit on Saturday.
However, after two near misses, Steve Barker’s side may feel as if that elusive first win of the season is just around the corner.
Stellies have gone ahead in both of their last two matches only to be pegged back. They went down 2-1 away to Bloemfontein Celtic before drawing 2-2 with Black Leopards.
Waseem Isaacs scored all three of Stellenbosch’s goals in those fixtures, twice seeing his efforts cancelled out against Lidoda Duvha.
Amid all the focus on Iqraam Rayners and fellow new forward Ryan Moon, Isaacs’ move to Stellies from Ubuntu Cape Town largely slipped under the radar, but he has proven to be a gem of a signing.
Amid reports that coach Steve Barker’s job could be on the line should Stellies fail to win against Abafana Bes’thende, Isaacs will likely be called upon to save the day.
However, this will be no simple task. Golden Arrows have picked up seven points from three home matches so far and look a well-oiled machine under coach Steve Komphela.
“All teams need something that binds them together and our unity is dependent on the work ethic as well,” Komphela was quoted as saying by TimesLive.
“If you don’t have the depth of talent that other clubs in the league have‚ then you must depend on something. For us‚ we are very fit.
“The game style that we play‚ where we are going to be acting and reacting‚ demands that we are highly explosive‚ and those actions must be consistent for 90 minutes.
“There is no way you can play a pressing game for 90 minutes but we know how to manage it. We depend heavily on our work ethic.”
As cliché as these quotes might seem, the proof has been in the pudding so far this season for Abafana Bes’thende. Given that Arrows will be up against opponents with plenty on the line, expect both teams to go hammer and tongs to clinch the three points.
Golden Arrows vs Stellenbosch: Head-to-head
These teams have not played each other since Stellenbosch FC was formed in 2016.
Kick-off time and prediction
Prediction: Golden Arrows have home advantage and Stellies appear to be in disarray at the moment. Expect another spirited performance from the Cape Winelands outfit, but Abafana Bes’thende are tipped to win 2-1.
Kick-off time: Saturday 28 September at 15:00
Golden Arrows vs Stellenbosch: Live score and result
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