Bloem Celtic host rejuvenated AmaZulu

Bloemfontein Celtic will play host to AmaZulu FC in an Absa Premiership match at Dr Molemela Stadium on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 3:00pm.

Phunya Sele Sele are keen to return to winning ways in the league after losing 2-1 to Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium in midweek.

As a result, Celtic are placed ninth on the league standings with 32 points from 25 games. They are two points behind sixth-placed Cape Town City.

Meanwhile, AmaZulu ended their four-match winless run in the league when they secured a 2-1 win over Ajax Cape Town at the King Zwelithini Stadium in midweek.

The win took Usuthu to 10th place on the league standings with 31 points from 25 games. They are only a point behind eighth-placed Bidvest Wits.

Previous starting line-ups

Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb, Rikhotso, Pfumbidzai, Ndengane, Gordinho, Baloyi, Letsoalo, Motshegwa, Mabena, Hotto, Phalane.

AmaZulu: Mbatha, Mabiliso, Sikhakhane, Gumede P, Gumede M, Ouro-Akoriko, Ncube, Mnguni, Cele, Karuru, Khenyeza.

Head-to-Head

LAST 10 LEAGUE RESULTS

Season Result Scorers

2010/11 AmaZulu 1-1 Celtic Sikhakhane; Paulse

2011/12 AmaZulu 2-0 Celtic Mokoro, Lewis

2011/12 Celtic 1-1 AmaZulu Bacela (pen); Lekata

2012/13 Celtic 1-0 AmaZulu Manzine

2012/13 AmaZulu 1-0 Celtic A. Dlamini

2013/14 AmaZulu 1-1 Celtic Ndulula; Manzine

2013/14 Celtic 0-0 AmaZulu

2014/15 AmaZulu 0-2 Celtic Lamola, Mhango

2014/15 Celtic 3-0 AmaZulu Lamola 2, Nyadombo (og)

2017/18 AmaZulu 0-0 Celtic

LEAGUE RECORD (since 1985)

Home

P W D L GF GA

Celtic 25 13 10 2 46 23

AmaZulu 24 10 8 6 23 17

Away

P W D L GF GA

Celtic 24 6 8 10 17 23

AmaZulu 25 2 10 13 23 46

Total

P W D L GF GA

Celtic 49 19 18 12 63 46

AmaZulu 49 12 18 19 46 63

What are the teams saying

Bloemfontein Celtic assistant coach John Maduka

“On Sunday we will be forced to attack and get goals and ultimately win," he said.

“Yes, Amazulu have been doing well and their winning against Ajax on Tuesday has obviously inspired them but they will face a tough battle at Molemela Stadium.

"We cannot afford to lose another game at this crucial stage of the league."

AmaZulu striker Mhlengi Cele

"We are feeling a bit relieved now that we won the match (against Ajax Cape Town) to open a gap with teams at the bottom of the table," he said.

"The next game (against Bloemfontein Celtic) gives us another chance to progress further and finish the season in a better position.

"We were relaxed coming into the match and I was not expecting the team to panic over relegation because we had a chance to fight for the points in the field of play."

Bloemfontein Celtic key players

Tshepo Rikhotso: The 25-year-old has been one of Celtic's key players this season. The former South Africa under-23 international is expected lead Phunya Sele Sele's defence in suspended Lorenzo Gordinho's absence.

Ndumiso Mabena: The former Orlando Pirates frontman remains Celtic's main striker having scored five goals in the league this season. The 30-year-old will look to score and help his side overcome Usuthu.

AmaZulu key players

Mbongeni Gumede: The young defender has done relatively well as AmaZulu captain this season. The former South Africa under-20 captain will be eager to lead his side to victory in Bloemfontein.

Mhlengi Cele: The 30-year-old continues to impress having scored two goals in his last three league games for AmaZulu. The former Chippa United striker could be key to Usuthu's win over Celtic.