Bloemfontein Celtic’s unbeaten home record in the Absa Premiership will be put to the ultimate test when they host league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns this evening. Kick-Off at the Seisa Ramabodu Stadium is at 7.30pm.
Phunya Sele Sele recently claimed a 1-0 away win over Mpumalanga Black Aces on Friday evening and have pushed themselves up to fifth place on the table on 24 points. The man to score that winning goal was Clifford Mulenga and he admitted the game against ‘Downs were going to be tough.
“Sundowns are currently on top of the log and for good reason. They are a good team and have a lot of good players. They will not be easy to beat, but we believe we have what it takes to overcome them” said Mulenga.
Celtic have won four and drawn three from their seven home league matches this season and they are the only team not to have lost a home game. Mulenga admits his side is fully aware of that fact.
“We have played well at home and we are difficult to beat in front of our home fans, and it will be difficult for Sundowns.”
Sundowns, on the other hand, after suffering back-to-back defeats, secured their first win of 2011 on Saturday with a 3-0 destruction of Maritzburg United. It was a second-half team performance that saw them in complete control. Franklin Cale grabbed the opening goal and is looking to score more against Celtic.
“There is great expectation after scoring my first goal of the season and I hope to not disappoint but I have to put the team first before my personal ambitions. The main mission is to win against Celtic and nothing else. We have a clear mandate for the game against Bloemfontein Celtic – win and get three points” Cale explained.
The Brazilians’ victory saw them retain their place at the top of the standings and extend their lead to three points over second-placed Ajax Cape Town. Cale, though, said that the team cannot look to far ahead and just have to focus on the game at hand.
“It is great we are on top, but we cannot look to other games beyond Celtic as that would be suicidal on our part.”
In head-to-head stats, Celtic and Sundowns have met 44 times in the league since 1985. The Brazilians have won 21 games to Phunya Sele Sele’s 10, while 13 matches have ended in draws.
Sundowns took four points off Celtic last season in the league and have an excellent recent record against the Bloemfontein side, having lost just once in the teams’ last 13 league and cup meetings.-Backpagepix