Polokwane City faces the toughest test in the Absa Premiership as they open 2018 with a match against leaders Mamelodi Sundowns at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on 6 January, kick-off at 15h30.
Polokwane ended last year on a high as they claimed a 1-0 away win over Chippa United on December 16, with Rodney Ramagalela scoring a late penalty. The result saw the Limpopo side end a five-match winless streak in the top flight.
Rise and Shine have yet to win at home this season, having recorded five draws and three defeats from eight matches as hosts. They have netted just six goals in the sequence and will need to improve in attack if they are to end their drought at home.
Sundowns ended 2017 on top of the log and with a four-point advantage, but their final game of last year brought a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Cape Town City – a result which ended a four-match winning run and seven-match unbeaten streak.
The Brazilians have been superb away from home this season, claiming 19 points from a possible 21. Their last match on the road was a 1-0 win at Golden Arrows on December 10. They have conceded just two goals in seven away matches this season.
In head-to-head stats, City and Sundowns have met in nine league matches since 2013/14. The Brazilians have claimed five wins compared to two for Rise and Shine, while two matches have been drawn. The Limpopo side has won one of their four home matches in the rivalry, suffering three defeats in the process.
When the teams met earlier this season, Polokwane claimed a surprise 2-1 away win in Tshwane on August 22, with former Sundowns attacker Rodney Ramagalela scoring both goals. It was Rise and Shine’s first win over the Brazilians since the teams’ first league meeting in 2013.
Form and Fixtures
Season league results (most recent first): WDLDDDWDLLLLDW
Next five league fixtures: Kaizer Chiefs (A), Orlando Pirates (A), AmaZulu (H), Ajax Cape Town (H), Bloemfontein Celtic (A)
Season league results (most recent first): LWWWWDWWLLWWLW
Next five league fixtures: Polokwane City (A), Ajax Cape Town (A), Orlando Pirates (H), Platinum Stars (H), Kaizer Chiefs (A), Cape Town City (A)
ALL LEAGUE RESULTS
Season Result Scorers
2013/14 Polokwane 1-0 Sundowns Langerman (og)
2013/14 Sundowns 1-0 Polokwane Modise
2014/15 Polokwane 0-3 Sundowns Malajila, Zwane, Modise
2014/15 Sundowns 5-0 Polokwane Malajila, Laffor, Billiat 2, Ramagalela
2015/16 Sundowns 0-0 Polokwane
2015/16 Polokwane 1-3 Sundowns Mncwango; Castro 2, Dolly
2016/17 Polokwane 0-2 Sundowns Tau, Billiat
2016/17 Sundowns 0-0 Polokwane
2017/18 Sundowns 1-2 Polokwane Lebese (pen); Ramagalela 2
LEAGUE RECORD (since 2013/14)