Absa Premiership

Preview: FS Stars v Bloem Celtic

2014-12-03 08:30
Reuben Thebakang (Supplied)

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 ends.

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 term.

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 suitable answers.

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Fixtures
Friday, 15 December 2017
Cape Town City FC v AmaZulu FC, Cape Town Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Mamelodi Sundowns v Bloemfontein Celtic, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 15:30
Chippa United v Polokwane City, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 15:30
Free State Stars v Orlando Pirates, Goble Park 18:00
Wits v Platinum Stars, Bidvest Stadium 20:15
Kaizer Chiefs v Ajax Cape Town, Moses Mabhida Stadium 20:15
Sunday, 17 December 2017
Baroka FC v SuperSport United, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Golden Arrows v Maritzburg United, Princess Magogo Stadium 15:30
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