Celtic looking to bounce back against Maritzburg

Celtic looking to bounce back against Maritzburg
Kabelo Mahlasela of Bloemfontein Celtic celebrates goal with teammates during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Cape Town City FC and Bloemfontein Celtic at Athlone Stadium, Cape Town on 17 October 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 30, 2017. 08:27

Bloemfontein Celtic will look to bounce back to form in the Absa Premiership when they host Maritzburg United at Dr Molemela Stadium on 31 October 2017, kick-off at 19h30.

Celtic suffered their second league loss of the season when they went down 2-1 away to Ajax Cape Town on October 21. The defeat arrived on the back of successive wins over Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City, halting the Bloemfontein side’s momentum.

Phunya Sele Sele have not been particularly impressive at home thus far this season, recording just four points from a possible nine. However, a 1-0 win over champions Wits in their last match in Bloemfontein suggests they are capable of beating the best at home.

Maritzburg have gone five league matches without a win after they were held 0-0 at Chippa United on October 18. The KwaZulu-Natal side did at least prevent a hat-trick of defeats, having gone down to Kaizer Chiefs and Free State Stars prior to the last international break.

The Team of Choice can at least point to an unbeaten away record, with one win and two draws on the road so far this season. That victory, however, came back in the opening round of the campaign at bottom-of-the-log Platinum Stars.

In head-to-head stats, Celtic and Maritzburg have met in 22 league matches since 2005/06. The Team of Choice has claimed seven wins compared to five for Phunya Sele Sele, while 10 matches have been drawn. The Bloemfontein side has won just two of their 11 home matches in the rivalry, suffering four defeats in the process.

Last season the KwaZulu-Natal side claimed four points from the teams’ two league meetings: United won 1-0 in Bloemfontein and ended the campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to Celtic. The teams’ last eight league meetings have produced just nine goals.

Celtic’s line-up from their 2-1 loss to Ajax on October 21: Tignyemb, Pfumbidzai, Ndengane, Lubisi, Hotto, Mashikinya, Baloyi, Mahlasela (Letsoalo 81'), Nyundu, Mabena.

Maritzburg’s line-up from their 0-0 draw with Chippa on October 18: Ofori, Weidlich, Onyango (Shandu 87’), Xulu, Sanoka, Rusike (Mokate 80’), Atouba (Van Wyk 61’), Makaringe, Maboe, Ndlovu, Mekoa.

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