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All roads lead to Setsoto


Moorosi Tsiane

Full premier league action returned this weekend after a lengthy international break prompted by Likuena’s participation in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, 2018 World Cup and 2016 African Nations  Championship qualifiers.

There is no doubt all roads will be leading to Setsoto Stadium this afternoon where the league’s top sides, Bantu and Lioli, are going to be doing battle for three precious points.

Clashes between Bantu and Lioli have become so explosive they now rank among the most eagerly awaited on the domestic football scene.

Since the 2011/12 season, the two sides have played each other nine times, with Bantu taking four of the matches, and Lioli winning twice, while three of the ties were drawn.

To show their newfound force, the Bantu and Lioli match is now the only one capable of filling Setsoto Stadium.

It comes as no surprise therefore, that Bantu and Lioli have been the teams to beat over the past three seasons during which Tse Nala have won the league title twice and Bantu once—in 2013/14.

However, Lioli are favourites for maximum points going into today’s match, because they are enjoying a good run of form. The TY outfit are top of the 14-team premier league table with 16 points, while Bantu are 10th with eight points. Both sides have played six matches this season.

Winning this fixture could be what Bantu need to get their mojo back after a poor start to the 2015/16 season. Yet in Lioli, Bantu face an adversary capable of adding to their woes.

Tse Nala are hoping to retain their league title and would be in an unforgiving mood when they trot onto the Setsoto pitch, hence this is billed to be a humdinger of a tie.

The fact that both sides have been out of league action for close to a month—Lioli were last in action on 2 October when they beat Mphatlalatsane 2-0 and Bantu lost 1-0 to Likhopo on the same date—adds more excitement to today’s match as the two giants would certainly be hungry for action.

There is no doubt this is a make-or-break tie for Bantu while Lioli, on the other hand, are going to be fighting to increase the eight-point gap between them.

The last time Lioli and Bantu met, the match ended 1-1 at Seeiso Leshoboro in March this year. But that was last season when Bantu were in fine form, which has not been the case this campaign.

Perhaps the international break was what Bantu needed to reflect on their stuttering form and give interim coaches Caswell Moru and Mosito Matela time to get their house in order. The two coaches succeeded Katiso Mojakhomo, who was shown the door last month due to the team’s uninspiring display.

On the other hand, the international break could impact negatively on Tse Nala, who are yet to lose this season.

This is one of those matches I cannot afford to miss and I will be disappointed if it ends in a stalemate.

Much as both teams would have to be cautious this afternoon, as football fans, we need to see those goals flowing. May the best team win.




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