AmaZulu, Celtic renew their league rivalry

AmaZulu, Celtic renew their league rivalry
Butholezwe Ncube of AmaZulu evades challenge from Masilake Phohlongo of Ajax Cape Town during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Ajax Cape Town and AmaZulu at Athlone Stadium, Cape Town on 25 November 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Dec 05, 2017. 10:46

AmaZulu and Bloemfontein Celtic will renew their rivalry in the Absa Premiership when they meet at King Zwelithini Stadium on 6 December 2017, kick-off at 19h30.

AmaZulu played to a third successive league draw when they held Ajax Cape Town 2-2 away on November 25. The Durban side fought back from two goals down late in the game to claim a share of the spoils and extend their unbeaten run to four matches.

Usuthu have struggled to establish a dominance at home, recording two wins, four draws and one defeat from seven turns as hosts. Their last home game was a goalless draw with Kaizer Chiefs, while their last home win was against Bidvest Wits in September.

Celtic suffered a second loss from their last four league matches when they were beaten 1-0 at home by Orlando Pirates on November 26. The Bloemfontein side will want to improve on a recent run which has seen them claim just four points from a possible 12.

Phunya Sele Sele have performed decently away from home so far this season, claiming two wins, three draws and suffering just one loss from six games on the road. Their last away result was a goalless stalemate at strugglers Platinum Stars in November.

In head-to-head stats, AmaZulu and Celtic have met in 48 league matches since 1985. Phunya Sele Sele have claimed 19 wins compared to 12 for Usuthu, while 17 matches have been drawn. The Durban side has won 10 of their 23 home league matches against the Bloemfontein club, suffering six defeats in the process.

AmaZulu and Celtic have not met since the 2014/15 season: in that campaign, the Bloemfontein side claimed a league ‘double’ by winning 2-0 in Durban and 3-0 at home.

AmaZulu’s line-up from their 2-2 draw with Ajax on November 25: Pule, Mtsweni, Ouro-Akoriko (Karuru 77'), Gumede, Sikhakhane, Morton, Ncube, Mnguni (Ntsundwana 89'), S.Dlamini, Cele, Manzini (Khenyeza 66').

Celtic’s line-up from their 1-0 loss to Pirates on November 26: Tignyemb, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Lubisi, Baloyi, Mashikinya (Mabaso 85'), Phalane, Letsoalo (Nyundu 60'), Mahlasela (Motshegwa 77'), Hotto, Mabena.

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