Celtic aim to cement top 8 spot
Bloemfontein Celtic will be looking to cement a top eight place on the log when they host Black Leopards in an Absa Premiership encounter at Free State Stadium on Wednesday night.
The two teams go into this clash having encountered contrasting fortunes from the past weekend with Phunya Sele Sele still fresh from their motivating victory over Moroka Swallows.
On the other hand, Leopards will have to pick themselves up as they dropped crucial points at home to Free State Stars.
Victory for Celtic will see them accumulate 23 points on the log going into the Christmas break while Lidoda Duvha will move a few places up the ladder if they manage what would be their fourth victory so far.
Going into this game, Celtic coach Clinton Larsen will be hoping that his defence, marshalled by Thabo Nthethe and goalkeeper Patrick Tingyemb, will be able to keep a clean sheet as they have been leaking goals.
After 15 matches at this stage of the campaign, Celtic have conceded 17 goals, which is the most number of goals conceded among the teams in the top 8 bracket on the log.
If Nthethe and his men are not watertight at the back, lethal Leopards striker Rodney Ramagalela, who has netted six so far this season, may seize the opportunity and punish them.
Celtic influential midfielder Letladi Madubanya said they are focusing on finishing the year with a win to thank their loyal supporters who have been behind them.
“As players we are aware that it is important to win games and the coach has made this point clear to us that we have to wrap up the year with a win. It is not going to be easy against Leopards but we are ready for them,” he said.
While things are looking better for Celtic, it is a more desperate situation for Leopards, who need to win all costs to move out of the bottom half of the log.
Speaking about the game, Leopards captain Mongezi Bobe made it clear that they want to end the year on a high note.
“It has not been a good first half of the season for us in terms of results. I believe that in most of our games we have played some good attacking football,” Bobe says.
“It’s just that luck was not our side on several occasions but we will continue to work hard so that we get out of the situation that we find ourselves in.”
Taking a closer look at the statistics, it is clear that one of the problems for Leopards has been their defence as they have conceded a whopping 23 goals.
They will have to tighten up the defence against an attacking side like Celtic.