Bloemfontein Celtic could have some surprises in store for Orlando Pirates

Bloemfontein Celtic co-coach Lehlohonolo Seema (not picture) is expected to rotate his team for the clash against Orlando Pirates at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
Bloemfontein Celtic co-coach Lehlohonolo Seema (not picture) is expected to rotate his team for the clash against Orlando Pirates at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Bloemfontein Celtic are likely to ring the changes to their line-up to take on Orlando Pirates on Tuesday night even after a stoic performance against champions Mamelodi Sundowns at the weekend.

Usually after a showing like that on Saturday at Loftus Versfeld‚ the temptation would be to stick with the same team that started in the spirited goalless draw against Sundowns.

But coach Lehlohonolo Seema says the game took plenty out of his players and he is not sure all will have recovered in time to take on the Buccaneers in their Absa Premiership matchup at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

“The tank looks very empty‚” Seema said after Celtic defended heroically on Saturday to take a point off Sundowns.

Definitely out is centreback Wandisile Letlabika‚ who suffered concussion and was hospitalised overnight after hitting his head against the goalposts.

“There were a lot of other guys who need treatment from the physio after the match‚” said Seema‚ who is now tempted to rotate personnel.

Celtic stayed up in Johannesburg after the game‚ with Sunday filled with regeneration exercises and ice baths for the players to aid the healing and recovery process.

“On the plus side I still have a fresh [Ndumiso] Mabena‚ fresh Lantshene Phalane and [Menzi] Masuku. We’ll just have to see‚” Seema said.

The trio were all dropped for the Sundowns game after the previous weekend’s home loss to struggling Free State Stars.

Kabelo Dlamini was also dropped but came on as a second-half substitute against Sundowns.

“They are all in contention‚” Seema added‚ delighted with the way things went against Sundowns.

“We defended better than we did last week. It showed the players listened.

“What a game from the boys. They stuck to the gameplan and they died with their boots on‚” he said.

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