AFRICAN Stars captain Pat Uanivi and his rival Da Costa Angula of Black Africa expect an electrifying encounter when the two sides clash in the highly anticipated ‘Katutura Derby’ at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Saturday.
The match could not be better poised as both sides aim to end the first half of the season on top of the Namibia Premier League table.
Stars, looking to reclaim the glory days, lead their rivals by a solitary point and intend to stay ahead after the final round before the traditional Christmas break.
Stars coach Ali Akan already stoked the fire by claiming, after their 3-1 away triumph over Eleven Arrows, that facing BA was the least of his concerns.
“I’ve never worried about Black Africa. I’ve always worried more about the smaller teams. We know Black Africa very well and they know us as well, everybody knows each other. We will go out to play our game and we have to win this game,” Akan said.
“This is a big match. Everybody wants to do well and win. We are not afraid of BA. We respect them but we are not afraid of them,” Uanivi told The Namibian Sport yesterday. “We will try to do our best to remain on top. It will be a good advantage when the second round starts.”
However BA’s vice captain Angula said despite dropping two points after the 1-1 draw at Tigers last Wednesday, they too were equally fired up for the biggest match in the league.
He noted though that Stars may have a slight psychological edge, having leapfrogged BA on Saturday with victory over Arrows.
“The players and the technical team stayed very positive after the draw against Tigers. You can see during training that the guys are focused and ready for Stars,” Angula said.
“That win obviously boosted them (Stars) for this game. But we are confident and we will go into the match with a positive frame of mind.”
Stars enjoyed the better start to the season and remain the only unbeaten side in the league thus far. Six wins and three draws from nine matches see them top the standings on 21 points and on course to reclaim the title from BA, who are in search of a third consecutive league crown.
In contrast, BA had a wretched start.
An opening-day draw against fiercest rivals Orlando Pirates was followed by a demoralising defeat at the hands of Ramblers, giving rise to the perception that the champions had lost their verve.
However, six wins on the trot saw them claw their way up the table and looking to be back to their perilous best.
Saturday’s battle also offers both sides the perfect platform to give their respective sets of adoring fans an early christmas present.
“The supporters will give the players that extra motivation. I expect BA’s supporters to come out and get behind the team as always,” Angula said.
Uanivi said: “Stars will have more supporters in the stadium. We want them to be louder than BA’s fans on Saturday!”