Cape Town - The equation for Free State Stars ahead of their
Premiership fixture against Bloemfontein Celtic is actually quite simple -
secure some points or stay in the relegation zone.
Read: Bragging rights up for grabs
Coach Kinnah Phiri has been without the services of four key
players since taking over at the helm -
Reuben Thebakang, Rudolf Bester, Henrik Somaeb and Thabiso Maharala.
There are strong indications that the status quo will remain
on Wednesday but Ea Lla Koto are a team with considerable depth and there are
many who feel that it is now time to prove it.
Stars have a series of complicated fixtures ahead of them in
2014 and a defeat against Celtic at the Charles Mopeli Stadium will not do the
squad’s confidence much good.
Earlier in their campaign Free State Stars had been
relatively successful at home.
However, during the past month there has been increasing
evidence that the hosts are vulnerable when playing on home soil, which does
present a window of opportunity for Bloemfontein Celtic to strike this week.
The reality is that inasmuch as this fixture is important to
Free State Stars, Celtic also need to accumulate some points, as that will
enhance the team’s prospects of finishing in the top eight once the season
Phunya Sele Sele’s last assignment away from home was not
successfully completed. However, Celtic were playing against Ajax Cape Town, a
team who have entrenched their status as contenders for the league title this
During various stages of this year’s campaign, Celtic have
had complications of their own. However, there are promising signs ahead of
their trip to Phuthaditjhaba on Wednesday, as Wandisile Letlabika and Jackey
Motshegwa are both expected to return to the fray after being sidelined by
injury for a protracted period.
During the recent series of fixtures, Bloemfontein Celtic
have not been particularly prolific. However, their defensive unit has also
been miserly. That will serve as encouragement for coach Ernst Middendorp, as
his team will lock horns against a Free State Stars team that have been
vulnerable at the back, while their strikers have also been innocuous.
Ahead of the match there will be several questions to be
answered by both teams. However, the jury is out on which team will provide