Celtic, Wits renew rivalry

Celtic, Wits renew rivalry
Gerald Phiri of Bidvest Wits (r) celebrates goal during the 2017/18 Absa Premiership football match between Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates at Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg on 23 September 2017 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Sunday Oct 01, 2017. 12:00

Bloemfontein Celtic and Bidvest Wits will renew their rivalry when they meet in an Absa Premiership clash at Dr Molemela Stadium on 1 October 2017, kick-off at 15h00.

Celtic played to their third draw of the season when they were held 0-0 at Chippa United on September 24. The Bloemfontein side has failed to score in either of their last two league matches and will want to break that drought as quickly as possible.

Phunya Sele Sele have played just twice at home so far in the 2017/18 campaign: they drew 1-1 with Kaizer Chiefs in the opening round and succumbed to a 2-0 loss at the hands of Baroka FC on matchday four.

Wits finally claimed their first league win of the season when they defeated Orlando Pirates 1-0 at home on September 23. The Johannesburg side scored early through Gerald Phiri Jr and were able to hold out and claim all three points.

The Clever Boys have claimed two points from their three away matches so far this season, though their last game on the road ended in an embarrassing 3-0 defeat at the hands of AmaZulu.

In head-to-head stats, Celtic and Wits have met in 55 league matches since 1985. The Clever Boys have claimed 23 wins compared to 17 for Phunya Sele Sele, while 15 matches have been drawn. The Bloemfontein side has claimed 12 wins from 27 home league matches against Wits, suffering eight defeats in the process.

Last season the Johannesburg side claimed a league ‘double’ over Celtic: they won 2-1 in Bloemfontein in the first half of the campaign, and 3-1 in the return game in Gauteng. Former Phunya Sele Sele striker Frank Mhango scored for the Clever Boys in both matches.

Celtic’s line-up from their 0-0 draw with Chippa on September 24: Tignyemb, Baloyi, Letlabika, Pfumbidzai, Rikhotso, Hotto, Ndengane, Phalane, Mabena (Motshegwa 90'), Mabaso (Nyundu 50'), Letsoalo (Mahlasela 66').

Wits’ line-up from their 1-0 win over Pirates on September 23: Josephs, Khumalo, Ntshangase, Hlanti, Phiri Jnr (Rodgers 69'), Keene (Scott 66'), Damjanovic, Motshwari, Monare, Frosler, Gamal (Klate 79').

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