There has been much talk about how the Absa Premiership league has evened out this season and plenty of surprising results, but so far Orlando Pirates have proved to be the most consistent and look likely to pick up their first League title since 2002\03.
But with Ajax Cape Town, Kaizer Chiefs, and Mamelodi Sundowns breathing down their necks, Pirates cannot afford to drop points in the next seven fixtures. Rudi Krol and his charges need to continue with their consistency and produce a delicate juggling act starting with their anticipated clash against the equally consistent Bloemfontein Celtic.
The two clubs have an Absa Premiership clash scheduled for the Seisa Ramabodu Stadium on Sunday, kick-off at 15h30.
While Pirates have been on top of the Absa Premiership table for the better part of the season, and still enjoy a 15 game unbeaten run, Celtic have also been impressive under the tutelage of new kid on the block, Clinton Larsen who is in his maiden season as a head coach in the PSL.
Celtic have put together a decent run and are unbeaten in 12 games, and the two teams recent form suggests that as usual, the supporters are in for a cracker of a game.
Coming into this game, both teams are inspired by the fact that, Celtic have collected six points in their last two games, humiliating Supersport United 5-0 and narrowly beat Santos 1-0 away from home, while Pirates collected four points in their last two games, forcing a one all draw against Kaizer Chiefs before overcoming Maritzburg United with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday night.
Playing at home in front of their home crowd will also help Celtic, but Pirates, having stretched their lead to three points ahead of second placed Ajax Cape Town, will want to carry on with their good form and end Celtic’s unbeaten run at home.
Celtic’s marksman, Lennox Bacela, who has scored four goals in his team’s two previous matches said that despite their good run of form they are expecting a tough game from Orlando Pirates, but the Siwelele striker is confident that Celtic can cause an upset and ruin Pirates’ 15-match unbeaten run.
“It will be a tough clash because Pirates want to hold on to their top spot on the log and we also want to consolidate our top five position on Absa Premiership table. What will be most interesting about the game is that Celtic and Pirates have players who have featured for both teams at their disposal,” commented Bacela.
Pirates’ central defender, Rooi Mahamutsa, is also aware that Celtic will be a tough nut to crack, especially playing in front of their vociferous crowd, “Our encounters against Celtic have always produced fireworks, and this one could also turn out to be a cracker.”
“Despite beating them 2-1 in our first round clash, Celtic have always given us a hard time, but we are going to Bloemfontein with one thing in mind and that is to collect all three points at stake and maintain our lead on the Absa Premiership table,” added Mahamutsa.
While Celtic will be without Cecil Oerson and Angelo Kerspuy, Pirates will welcome back Happy Jele and Thulasizwe Mbuyane who missed the Maritzburg United game due to suspensions.-Backpagepix