Cosmos will need Nhleko to be at his best

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Ea Lla Koto defeated Jomo Sono's team 2-0 at Goble Park in the first half of the league on October 20 and a week later claimed a second win over Ezenkosi in the quarterfinals of the Telkom Knockout.

Their fortunes in the league couldn’t be more different: Stars are dark horses for the championship and are unbeaten in 2008, while Cosmos are second from bottom and last won a game in December last year.

However, Stars’ away form has hardly been impressive and Ezenkosi may just be able to unsettle their high flying opponents, who will find themselves well outside of their comfort zone in Orkney.

Those two wins over Cosmos earlier in the season came at Stars’ fortress Goble Park and quite whether they can claim a hat-trick remains to be seen.

However, Ezenkosi assistant coach Collen Tlemo believes the fact that the team has managed to hold it's own in recent games, shows that it’s just a matter of time before the elusive goals come in.

“The team looks good and raring to go. This is going to be a tough game as Stars are on a winning streak and must be highly motivated going into this game.

“This is maybe just what we have been looking for, playing a team of this calibre will help motivate our guys in return and we can start collecting the much needed points. We have been playing draws lately and we have to run that into wins.

“We have a few knocks here and there but not anything very serious. Geoffrey Massa is the only one who looks doubtful as he is still nursing an injury he suffered against Ajax Cape Town a fortnight ago. We need his aggression, skill and power shots in the danger area.

“We also have Nkosinathi Nhleko in attack but it must be remembered that he has been out of the local game for some time and will need to gradually work his way back into full match fitness. We are pleased with his progress so far and he is fast reaching the desired fitness and once that is achieved we will see the Nhleko we all know and the goals he is capable of scoring. Give him time,” said Tlemo.”

LAST FIVE RESULTS:Cosmos:Date Opponent H/A Result27/02/08 Platinum Stars A D 0-024/02/08 Ajax Cape Town H L 0-120/02/08 SuperSport United A D 1-117/02/08 Kaizer Chiefs H D 0-013/02/08 BidVest Wits A L 0-2

Stars:Date Opponent H/A Result01/03/08 Thanda Royal Zulu H D 2-223/02/08 Black Leopards A W 2-120/02/08 Bloemfontein Celtic H W 1-016/02/08 Golden Arrows A D 2-213/02/08 Santos H W 4-1

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