Lantshene Phalane of Bloemfontein Celtic challenged by Oupa Manyisa of Mamelodi Sundowns 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

Friday Jan 05, 2018. 06:35


Bloemfontein Celtic will take aim at Golden Arrows in their first Absa Premiership of the New Year, with the teams meeting at Dr Molemela Stadium on 7 January 2018, kick-off at 15h30.

Celtic ended 2017 with a 1-1 draw at home to SuperSport United on December 20. The Bloemfontein side were a goal up for much of the game – thanks to a first-half strike from Victor Letsoalo – but they conceded an equaliser in the final quarter of the game to be forced into a share of the spoils.

Phunya Sele Sele have claimed 11 points from seven home matches this season. Their last three turns as hosts have produced a loss (0-1 against Orlando Pirates), a win (3-0 against Free State Stars) and a draw in the above-mentioned match.

Arrows have gone 10 league matches without a win after they were held 0-0 at home by KwaZulu-Natal rivals Maritzburg United on December 17. The Durban side’s last victory was away to Platinum Stars in September.

Abafana Bes’thende have claimed 10 points from eight away matches this season. However, their last four matches on the road have brought them just two points and include defeats at SuperSport United and Free State Stars.

In head-to-head stats, Celtic and Arrows have met in 27 league matches since 2000/01. Phunya Sele Sele have claimed 11 wins compared to four for Abafana Bes’thende, while 12 matches have been drawn. The Bloemfontein side has won six of their 13 home league matches in the rivalry, suffering just one defeat in the process.

When the teams met earlier this season in Durban they played to a 1-1 draw, with goals from Kuda Mahachi and Roggert Nyundu respectively. Arrows are unbeaten in their last six league matches against Celtic.

Celtic’s line-up from their 1-1 draw with SuperSport on December 20: ignyemb, Lubisi, Ndengane, Pfumbidzai, Mashikinya (Motshegwa 89’), Maruping, Baloyi, Hotto, Mahlasela (Shikwena 77’), Mabena, Letsoalo.

Arrows’ line-up from their 0-0 draw with Maritzburg on December 17: Gumede, Mngwengwe, Mzava, Dube, Nonyane (Nkombelo 73’), Ndwandwe (Magubane 70’), Bilankulu, Sibiya, Mahachi, Mutizwa, Chideu (Lamola 57’).


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