Sundowns look to continue at the top

Sundowns look to continue at the top
Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns fouled by Mpho Maruping of Bloemfontein Celtic during the 2018 Telkom Knockout Cup match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Bloemfontein Celtic at the Lucas Moripe Stadium, Atteridgeville on 20 October 2018 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Mar 01, 2019. 16:00

Mamelodi Sundowns will have the chance to further consolidate their place at the top of the Absa Premiership when they host Bloemfontein Celtic at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, 2 March 2019, kick-off at 15h30.

Sundowns claimed their 10th win of the season when they defeated Cape Town City 3-2 at home on February 27, with goals from Lebohang Maboe, Anthony Laffor and Phakamani Mahlambi.

The Brazilians have claimed 18 points from 11 home matches this season, with their only loss as hosts coming back in late January when they were surprised by AmaZulu.

Celtic suffered their eighth defeat of the season when they were beaten 3-2 at home by derby rivals Free State Stars on February 24. The Bloemfontein side has won just once in their last five outings.

Phunya Sele Sele have claimed 14 points from 10 away matches this season, with their last result on the road a 2-2 draw at Baroka FC on February 10.

In head-to-head stats, Sundowns and Celtic have met in 61 league matches since 1985. The Brazilians have claimed 30 wins compared to 13 for Phunya Sele Sele, while 18 matches have been drawn. The Tshwane side has claimed 16 wins from 30 home matches against their Bloemfontein counterparts, suffering six defeats in the process.

When the teams met earlier this season, at the Dr Molemela Stadium in October 2018, they played out a goalless stalemate. Three of the last four league meetings of Sundowns and Celtic have ended in 0-0 draws.

Sundowns’ line-up from their 3-2 win over City on February 27: Mweene, Ngcongca, Coetzee, Nascimento (Lebusa 64’), Langerman, Laffor (Lakay 82’), Kekana, Jali, Zwane, Sirino (Mahlambi 73’), Maboe.

Celtic’s line-up from their 3-2 loss to Stars on February 24: Tignyemb, Letlabika, Pfumbidzai, Rikhotso, Masuku (Letsoalo 53'), Mabena, Mabaso (Mahashe 54'), Mashikinya (Potsane 65'), Dlamini, Phalane, Baloyi.

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