Celtic look to bounce back against the champions

Celtic look to bounce back against the champions
Oupa Manyisa of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Ronald Pfumbidzai of Bloemfontein Celtic during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Bloemfontein Celtic at Loftus Stadium, Pretoria on 16 December 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 01, 2018. 16:31

Bloemfontein Celtic will look to bounce back from Absa Premiership defeat when they host champions Mamelodi Sundowns at Dr Molemela Stadium on 3 October 2018, kick-off at 19h30.

Celtic suffered their first loss of the 2018/19 season when they were beaten 1-0 at home by Maritzburg United on September 23. The result denied the Bloemfontein side the chance to come into this round at the top of the standings.

Phunya Sele Sele have claimed two wins from their three previous home matches, with the loss to Maritzburg preceded by wins over Chippa United and Orlando Pirates.

Sundowns continued their unbeaten start to the league season when they won 1-0 away to Golden Arrows on September 19, with Lebohang Maboe scoring the only goal. The Tshwane side has recorded two wins and three draws from five outings so far.

The Brazilians’ three away games in the campaign have brought them a haul of seven points from a possible nine. This will be their third straight league match on the road.

In head-to-head stats, Sundowns and Celtic have met in 60 league matches since 1985. The Brazilians have claimed 30 wins compared to 13 for Phunya Sele Sele, while 17 matches have been drawn. The Bloemfontein side has claimed seven wins from 30 home matches against the Tshwane giants, suffering 14 defeats in the process.

Last season ‘Downs took four points off Celtic, handing the Bloemfontein side a 4-1 beating in Tshwane in the first half of the campaign, before the return game in the final round of league fixtures ended in a goalless stalemate. Celtic have not won at home against the Brazilians since the 2005/06 season.

Celtic’s line-up from their 1-0 loss to Maritzburg on September 23: Tignyemb, Rikhotso, Gordinho, Ndengane, Sam, Masuku (Potsane 51’), Phalane, Mashikinya, Dlamini (Letsoalo 68’), Mabena, Mabaso (Pfumbidzai 77’).

Sundowns’ line-up from their 1-0 win over Arrows on September 19: Pieterse, Morena, Madisha, Nascimento, Langerman, Kekana (Lakay 85'), Jali, Maboe, Vilakazi, Silva (Meza 70'), Mahlambi (Mabunda 61').

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