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Crunch time for Maritzburg and Stellies

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Steve Barker coach of Stellenbosch FC during the DStv Premiership 2020/21 match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Stellenbosch FC on the 28 November 2020 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

STELLENBOSCH FC coach Steve Barker is aware that his team’s DStv Premiership clash against Golden Arrows at the Danie Craven stadium on Friday afternoon will be critical in terms of their ambitions for this season.

“In the context of it being the last game of the first round, it is a critical game in terms of us being at the 18-point game rather than the 15,” said Barker.

“We are aiming to be better than we were last season. Sometimes certain games become more important depending on where you are in the league. It is a highly important fixture for us to ensure that we put in a good performance at home against a team which is having a good season.

“It is important that we focus on what we are capable of doing. We have shown signs of progress but have let ourselves down with some of the goals that we have conceded,” said Barker.

Victory will be a good way for Stellies to regain confidence given that they are without a league win in their last five games. However, they will have their work cut out against Mandla Ncikazi’s defensively compact side which has lost only once in the league to date.

Meanwhile, Maritzburg United’s Thabiso Kutumela is aware that a win for his side in their bottom of the table clash against Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) at the Harry Gwala Stadium will be vital.

Both teams are locked on nine points and are only separated on goal difference. The Team of Choice have lost their last three league games while TTM have lost their last five league games.

A loss for either side could potentially see them move below last-placed Black Leopards before the end of the weekend.