Game key for teams

2017-05-17 06:02
Celtic interim coach Lehlohonolo Seema.

Celtic interim coach Lehlohonolo Seema.

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Relegation-threatened Free State football giants Bloemfontein Celtic and Free State Stars face off in a crucial provincial derby that has the potential to determine their fate in the Premier Soccer League (PSL).

They are both embroiled in a tough battle against the ­dreaded axing.

Desperate for three points, they clash in the return Free State derby tonight (17/05) at the Dr R.P. Molemela Stadium in Bloemfontein at 19:30.

A share of the spoils will be beneficial for both, as opposed to a defeat, as such a result will worsen the relegation blues of the loser.

However, they are eager for maximum points, which enable them to drift away from the possible relegation of the topflight division.

A point separates the two Free State clubs. The hosts, Phunya Sele Sele, are in 12th position with 27 points and Ea Lla Koto in 13th position with 26 points.

Yet another emotional derby for Stars mentor Serame Letsoaka, facing off against his former team, he hopes his charges will emulate the giant-killing character which saw them demolish Bidvest Wits with 3-1 on Wednesday (10/05).

Letsoaka has been on the receiving end of the tough luck Free State derby while with Celtic, with a draw being the only positive result.

On the other hand Celtic interim coaches John Maduka and Lehlohonolo Seema would want to inspire their lads to rise to the occasion in the all-important derby which is fundamental in surviving relegation.

For survival, the provincial teams also rely on the outcome of other opposition teams who also face relegation.

These include Chippa United, Highlands Park and Baroka FC, who are equally desperate to get six points to avoid relegation to the lower rank of the National First Division (NFD).

A win for the trio of Chippa, Highlands Park and Baroka, would further raise the pressure on Ea Lla Koto and Phunya Sele Sele, as opposed to sharing the spoils.

Baroka and Highlands face off in another do-or-die fixture tonight (17/05) at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

Chippa clashes with in-form SuperSport United and victory for the latter will be favourable for both Free State sides.

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