Mamelodi Sundowns v Bloemfontein Celtic

Saturday 1st December – Moses Mabhida (20:15)

Mamelodi-Sundowns Teko Modise

The Telkom Knockout Final between Mamelodi Sundowns and Bloemfontein Celtic will take place Saturday night at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. This is the second year running that the final will be held at the scenic Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Mamelodi Sundowns were drawn as the home team. This means they will have first preference on the training times at Moses Mabhida on the eve of the match, playing colours and change rooms at the stadium.

A dress rehearsal of the final was played last weekend in the league with Sundowns reigning supreme with a 1-0 win at Free State Stadium.

Sundowns booked their place in the final with a 1-0 win over SuperSport United in the semi-final while Celtic were involved in a five goal thriller to earn a dramatic 3-2 victory, also over their local rivals, Free State Stars.

The two side’s league form is very different. The Brazilians have been beyond woeful this season and have managed just two victories so far, with four draws and six defeats which has left the side second from bottom with seven points from their opening 12 league matches.

Celtic, meanwhile, find themselves in the right half of the table, with Clinton Larsen’s men currently eighth in the standings with 16 points from their opening 12 games.

In head-to-head stats, Celtic and Sundowns have met in 48 league matches since 1985. The Brazilians have claimed 23 wins compared to 10 for Phunya Sele Sele, while 15 matches have been drawn.

Last season the Tshwane team took four points off their Bloemfontein counterparts, winning 2-1 at home and drawing 0-0 in the away match.

Sundowns secured just their second win of the PSL season when they edged out Celtic last weekend. However, they are now unbeaten in their last four league matches and they do look more promising. Despite such poor form they have maintained a good defensive record conceding just 13 goals in the league in their 12 games. They have also not conceded a goal in the Telkom Knockout en route to the final. Their road to the final started with a 1-0 win over Uni. Of Pretoria in the first round at home, a 2-0 win over AmaZulu in the quarter-final away from home and a sole strike by Eleazar Rodgers was enough to see off SuperSport in the semi-final.

Bloemfontein Celtic’s fighting spirit has given them the confidence to aim for this year’s Telkom Knockout title. Celtic eliminated defending champions Orlando Pirates in what was a memorable quarter-final at Free State Stadium just under a month ago. Trailing 3-1 in injury time, Celtic netted twice to send the match into extra-time. With neither side finding another goal, the Bloemfontein outfit secured victory with a 5-3 win in a penalty shootout. They also came back from a goal down in Cape Town to beat Chippa United 2-1 in the first round and fought hard in the Free State derby to get a 90th minute winner and a 3-2 victory.

In the last 17 league matches, Bloemfontein Celtic have managed just one win over Sundowns with the Brazilians recording 11 victories and five matches being drawn. Sundowns have been a totally different team in this competition. However, Celtic will prove tough to beat and the draw is tipped with the under 2.5 goals market looking a good bet.

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