thriller on offer

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

The Absa Premiership match between Bloemfontein Celtic and Orlando Pirates at Seisa Ramabodu Stadium this afternoon will be a difficult one in all departments, but Phunya Selesele are likely to be put to the sword.

The match has all the hallmarks of a thriller and kickoff is at 3.30pm.

Depending on the starting line-up, the coaches of the two teams are likely to play an attacking 4-4-2 system.

Benjamin Reed and David Modise, Phunya Selesele's co-caretaker coaches, are expected to start with a seasoned campaigner in a holding position and should opt for Ntokozo Sikhakhane.

The return of Soul Mmethi should add punch to both wings since the versatile former Dynamos and AmaZulu player can play as a left or right winger and his crosses are always dangerous.

Excellent Walaza and Gilbert Mushangazhike, who are likely to start in Bucs' attack, should punch beyond their weight to penetrate the hosts' experienced rearguard.

With the absence of the injured Tumelo Nhlapo on the right-back position, James Madidilane should start with Didier Mbendje on the left in a move intended to neutralise Bucs' tricky Bennet Chenene.

But Madidilane should guard against overlapping too much as the Buccaneers could punish them with counter attacks.

Celtic goalkeeper Posnett Omony selects himself for this match since their number two goalie Shu Aib Walters is still out injured.

Omony and his defenders should triple their efforts to prevent Pirates from scoring since Walaza is capable of banging them in for Pirateswhen it matters.

Another added advantage for Pirates is that the midfielders have an attacking mentality and add value up front.

Teko "Ace" Modise, who at times can shoot accurately from close range, also has the ability to penetrate some of the solid defenses in the league.

But Sello Nduna, Celtic's spokesman, believes Pirates can be beaten because their defence always panics when under pressure.

Owen da Gama, Pirates' mentor, reckons determination could pull them through against Celtic, whom they walloped 3-0 in the first round.

And I think that's possible.

l Last night's PSL matches on page 31.