Bidvest Wits v Free State Stars

Free State Stars travel to the Bidvest Stadium to take on Bidvest Wits in their opening Premiership clash of the new season on Saturday, kick-off 6pm.

Both sides have overhauled their squads with Stars making 11 signings while releasing 13 members of their playing staff.

Wits, meanwhile, have signed a total of 11 players as manager Gavin Hunt looks to reinvent his squad after their dismal defence of the title they won in 2016/17, as they ended in 13th place last term – although they were Telkom Knockout champions, beating Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 in last season’s final.

For Stars, who enjoyed a very productive 2017/18 with a Nedbank Cup final win and a sixth-placed league finish, head coach Luc Eymael will be looking of more of the same as Wits eye a fast start.

Joining the Clever Boys are Robyn Johannes, Vuyo Mere, Haashim Domingo, Bantu Mzwakali, Simon Murray, Terrence Dzvukamanja, Mxolisi Macupu, Lehlohonolo Nonyane, Brighton Mhlongo, Gift Motupa and Deon Hotto.

Stars brought in Eleazar Rodgers, Tshepo Tema, Mpho Maruping, Maboke Matlakala, Judas Moseamedi, William Twala, Yusuf Jappie, Ricardo Ndiki, Bongani Mbuli, Linda Bhengu and Cesaire Gandze.

Ahead of the game, Ea Lla Koto’s Paulus Masehe told IOL: “We’ve got an opportunity to compete for everything, including the MTN8 so why wouldn’t we want to go all the way and win it because it’s an opportunity that you gave yourself by doing well? But we have to remain humble because if you get carried away football will humble you.

“We are not a team of superstars. We are a hardworking team. That’s our strength. We need to stick to that and leave the other stuff aside.”

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