Tue, 07 Feb 2017 | 05:57

Chippa United will square off with Baroka FC in an Absa Premiership encounter at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday. Kick-off is at 7:30pm.

The Chilli Boys wrapped up 2016 with a narrow 1-0 defeat to Ajax Cape Town in a league game which was played in Port Elizabeth.

The defeat extended Chippa’s inconsistent run in the league. Before facing Ajax, they had beaten Highlands Park on the back of a defeat and a win.

Chippa are placed 11th on the league standings with 16 points from 14 matches. They are three points behind eighth placed Maritzburg United.

Katlego Mashego is expected to lead the Chilli Boys’ attack. The experienced forward has already netted two league goals for his since joining the team last November.

Chippa head coach Dan Malesela is happy with their preparations ahead of their clash with Baroka they look to move further away from the relegation zone.

“I am pleased with the preparations, and we will be ready on Tuesday,” Malesela said.

“We are not thinking of the relegation. Our effort is to climb up the log, and in order for us to achieve that we must take it one game at a time. The focus now is Baroka FC.”

Meanwhile, Baroka ended 2016 with a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns in a league game which was played at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

The defeat extended Bakgaga’s winless run to nine matches. They have recorded five defeats and four draws having last tasted victory last October.

Baroka are placed 16th on the league standings with 12 points from 15 matches. They are only two points behind 14th-placed Free State Stars.

Helder Pelembe has been signed by Baroka to beef up their attack. The former Orlando Pirates striker will be keen to impress against Chippa.

Baroka also have a new head coach in Zambian tactician Jacob Sakala, while Kgokolo Thobejane has been demoted to assistant coach.

“We are working very hard behind the scenes and we will learn from each other for the benefit of the club,” Sakala said ahead of his first game in charge.

“The relationship is very good between us and I am happy that the supporters have welcomed me very well.”

Chippa and Baroka met in the league first round at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane. The Chilli Boys emerged 4-1 winners on the day.

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