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Football | Absa Premiership

Sundowns hoping to dispatch Celtic

Mamelodi Sundowns will be out to return to winning ways when they host Bloemfontein Celtic in their Absa Premiership tie at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville.

Kick-off is at 7:30pm CAT (SA, GMT+2).

Coach Pitso Mosimane's side find themselves under pressure to convert games in hand into points and this match brings an opportunity to find a win.

Fresh from a disappointing 2-1 loss against Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday night, the African champions will know they will have to show no mercy against Siwelele.

Besides their loss to Amakhosi, the Brazilians drew 0-0 against Polokwane City, but beat Uganda's Kampala Capital City Authority 3-2 on aggregate to reach the group stages of the CAF Champions League.

On the log table, Sundowns occupy No 5 with 34 points from 18 matches and will now have to rectify their errors at the back after Bangaly Soumahoro conceded an own goal at FNB Stadium.

"We haven't won a single match in our last three games (in all competitions) and that's one thing that needs to change," said skipper Hlompho Kekana.

"We need to start winning again. We still have a realistic chance of defending our league title this season with these 12 games remaining.

"All we need to do is to start collecting those three points in these remaining matches we still have to play, that's all."

Looking at the visiting Mangaung-based outfit, they will also want to bag their second win in a row and will fight hard.

Lehlohonolo Seema's men defied all odds as they cruised to a 1-0 win over the Citizens at Peter Mokaba Stadium last Sunday.

Although they are facing a wounded Sundowns, they will be seeking to avenge their 1-0 loss they suffered at home early in February.

On the other hand, Celtic will have one thing at the back of their minds, to continue respecting their late lifetime President in Dr Petrus Molemela and to avoid relegation.

Although they will be without their new coach in Luc Eymael, who has off-the-field battles with Rise and Shine, Celtic have been revived since the Belgian's arrival.

Sitting at number 12 on the log table has eased their relegation concerns, but they still have to collect points and ensure their safety.

Apart from from the win over Bernard Molekwa's men, they beat Buya Msuthu 2-0 in the Nedbank Cup and drew 0-0 against log leaders Cape Town City.

"There's a good relationship between me and Pitso (Mosimane), but, unfortunately, I won't be on the bench,” said coach Eymael.

"We respect Sundowns, they are the best team in Africa. They have the best coach in Africa and the best players that play good football.

“So we have to be very cautious on Wednesday. You saw on the weekend that they [Sundowns] were beaten because of their own mistakes. If it wasn't for those mistakes I'm not sure if they were going to lose that game.”


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