Stars may sling rookie back into Chiefs firing line
Platinum Stars face fielding a rookie at right back when they take on league leaders Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium tonight.
Coach Allan Freese has hinted he could look at handing a first PSL start to 22-year-old Michael Mabule after captain Vuyo Mere was injured by a two-footed lunge from Tsietsi Mahoa in Stars' 1-0 win at Moroka Swallows on Saturday night.
The youngster's only previous first-team appearance came in the final four minutes of the 2-0 win over Black Leopards in the Nedbank Cup in March last year.
"Vuyo has been sent home to have a scan, which will happen once the swelling on his knee has come down," Freese said.
"It is a big blow to lose our captain. We have Thabiso Semenya, who can also play in that position, but also a very good young player in Michael Mabule. "
Semenya does have fond memories of facing Chiefs at FNB Stadium. He scored the winner there in the semifinals of the 2013 Telkom Knockout.
This will be the fifth meeting between the two sides this season and Freese says the preparation will be easy. It is about who wants it most on the day.
"We have played each other so often recently that we know everything there is to know about each other," the Stars coach said.
"Neither side has anything left to hide and the game will be a crucial one for us to move away from the bottom of the table.
"We will tell the players that the result will come down to who performs better on the day. If we play the way we know we can, we stand a very good chance."
Chiefs won the first three meetings between the sides, a two-leg semifinal in the MTN8 and the reverse league clash. But Stars held Amakhosi to a draw in the Telkom Knockout before going on to win the penalty shootout.