The Buccaneers will look to overcome their early season jitters when they take on a feisty Phunya Sele Sele on Sunday
Despite heavily bolstering their ranks in the offseason, Bucs have endured a rather slow and to an extent an uninspiring start to proceedings.
Pressure is beginning to mount on head coach Milutin Sredojevic’s shoulders and he will hope that his side will pass the Celtic test with flying colours.
However, it almost certainly won’t be a walk in a park for the Soweto giants at the Free State Stadium.
Phunya Sele Sele, under the astute mentorship of Steve Komphela have been organised and have claimed two wins in two, which is made more admirable considering their struggles behind the scenes.
|Game||Bloemfontein Celtic v Orlando Pirates|
|Date||Sunday, August 19|
|Time||3:30pm SA Time|
TV Channel, Live Score & How To Watch
In South Africa, the game will be shown live on SuperSport 4. You can also catch live updates on Goal.com .
|Live Match Centre||TV Channel|
Squads & Team News
|Midfielders||Thabo Qalinge, Luvuyo Memela|
Following Pirates’ recent defeat, Micho is expected to make one or two changes to his starting XI.
Midfielder Ben Motswari made his full debut for Bucs on Wednesday and he is likely to continue in the midfield, but it is upfront where Pirates may look to change things around.
Pirates have only managed a solitary goal in their three previous league encounters and they will hope to find the target against Celtic.
Kudakwashe Mahachi, who missed the clash against the Students could be brought in in order to inject some much-needed pace into the Pirates attack while Thembinkosi Lorch could offer the Buccaneers some much need firepower upfront as well as creativity.
Meanwhile, it is at the back where changes are also likely to be made.
Mthokozisi Dube returns after serving suspension and Gladwin Shitolo could perhaps make way after scoring another own goal against Wits.
Potential Pirates XI: Mpontshane; Nyauza, Jele, Dube, Maela; Nyatama, Mlambo, Pule, Lorch, Shonga, Mulenga.
On the side of Celtic though, all eyes will be on whether or not Lorenzo Gordinho will feature for Siwelele.
The defender has been a constant feature for the Bloemfontein-based outfit ever since he joined on loan from Kaizer Chiefs. But Amakhosi have since requested his return which has reportedly not gone down well with Celtic and a tug-o-war is likely to ensue between the two clubs.
Komphela is likely to keep most of the same squad which grabbed all three points against Golden Arrows, although he could be tempted to throw in Lucky Baloyi for some experience in the heart of midfield.
Potential Celtic XI: Tignyemb, Sam, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Mabena, Baloyi, Potsane, Gordinho, Dlamini, Phalane.
This will be the 36th meeting between the two sides in all competitions and if history is anything to go by, Pirates will be favourites.
Pirates have won 17 of the 35 games held, while Celtic have won just 11. The last two meetings have both ended in favour of Pirates.
On current form though, Celtic will be confident.
The home side last tasted defeat in competitive matches in April, and what is an interesting stat is that the last team to beat them was Pirates.
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Could this be an omen of what is to happen on Sunday in the City of Roses?