Teams clash for bragging rights

2016-01-20 06:00
EYES ON THE BALL: Gabadinho Mhango of Bloemfontein Celtic tries to get his way past Kaizer Chiefs’ Siboniso Gaxa during the two teams’ meeting at the Free State Stadium on Sunday. Chiefs won the match by 2-1.  Photo: Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix

EYES ON THE BALL: Gabadinho Mhango of Bloemfontein Celtic tries to get his way past Kaizer Chiefs’ Siboniso Gaxa during the two teams’ meeting at the Free State Stadium on Sunday. Chiefs won the match by 2-1. Photo: Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix

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GOBLE PARK is likely to be a bubbling cauldron of expectation when Free State Stars and Bloemfontein Celtic resume their rivalry in the Free State derby on Saturday afternoon (23/01). Kick-off is at 15:30.

Much more than three points and bragging rights are at stake whenever these two teams clash, and their meeting on Saturday will be no different. The importance of securing the full points on offer cannot be overemphasised.

A win for either side will be extremely important, while a loss should be avoided. Nor is a draw an option for the Free State arch rivals at this stage of the season, where scoring three points is like digging up gold. Neither of the last two derbies between Stars and Celtic have produced more than two goals as their two meetings ended 1-0 in favour of Stars. But this Saturday has the potential to break the mould and finally deliver the kind of excitement the usually packed stadiums seek.

Celtic coach, Serame Letsoaka, said his side was determined to turn the corner when they come face to face with their nemesis this weekend. “We are preparing for this match like we normally do when we prepare for other teams. We are not going to do anything different,” Letsoaka told Express.

“We always prepare to win games; even those that we have lost. But Lady Luck was not on our side. We had created plenty of chances, but we were unable to convert them. That’s something that we are working on!” he said.

Phunya Sele Sele have played nine matches in all its competitions X eight league games and one cup match X without a single win. This is something that Letsoaka needs to fix, and very quickly. “We are not a bad team. We play good football. But our boys seem to hurry taking shots when they are in the box. They must relax a little bit and retain their composure,” said Letsoaka.

Meanwhile, Stars are confident going into this match after they had defeated Platinum Stars 2-1 in Rustenburg on Sunday(17/01). Their win saw them move up into position eight on the log with 18 points.

The Bethlehem side will be hoping to continue their winning form and improve their log position when they welcome the visitors to their slaughterhouse.

Celtic, who are sitting ninth on the table with 17 points, will rely on Lerato Lamola for goals, while Stars will be pinning their hopes on Moeketsi Sekola.

We are not a bad team. We play good football. But our boys seem to hurry taking shots when they are in the box. – Serame Letsoaka

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