Celtic, Stars set for Free State derby – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – South Africa

Celtic, Stars set for Free State derby

Dumisani Zuma of Bloemfontein Celtic and Rooi Mahamutsa of Free State Stars during the Absa Premiership match between Bloemfontein Celtic and Free State Stars on 17 May 2017 at Dr Molemela Stadium, Bloemfontein ©Frikkie Kapp /BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Dec 08, 2017. 10:33

Bloemfontein Celtic and Free State Stars will meet for an Absa Premiership derby at the Dr Molemela Stadium on 10 December 2017, kick-off at 15h30.

Celtic saw their away match against AmaZulu on December 6 called off due to an unplayable pitch. Their last completed match was a 1-0 loss at home to Orlando Pirates on November 26. It was their second defeat in the space of four league matches.

Phunya Sele Sele have a mixed record at home this season, having claimed seven points from five matches. Their last three-pointer as hosts was a 1-0 triumph over league champions Bidvest Wits in early October.

Stars broke a four-match winless streak when they defeated Golden Arrows 2-1 at home on December 6. The Free State side have put together a three-game unbeaten run and will hope it sparks a significant rise up the log table.

Ea Lla Koto have claimed just seven points from six away matches this season, though their last match on the road was a creditable 1-1 draw at Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs. Their last away win was at Maritzburg United in late September.

In head-to-head stats, Celtic and Stars have met in 52 league matches since 1986. Ea Lla Koto have claimed 18 wins compared to 13 for Phunya Sele Sele, while 21 matches have been drawn. The Bloemfontein side have won eight of their 26 home matches against their provincial rivals, suffering six defeats in the process.

Last season the teams cancelled each other out in their league meetings, playing to two goalless stalemates. They were the first draws between the teams since the first half of the 2013/14 campaign.

Celtic’s line-up from their 1-0 loss to Pirates on November 26: Tignyemb, Rikhotso, Ndengane, Lubisi, Baloyi, Mashikinya (Mabaso 85′), Phalane, Letsoalo (Nyundu 60′), Mahlasela (Motshegwa 77′), Hotto, Mabena.

Stars’ line-up from their 2-1 win over Arrows on December 6: Sangare, Mashego, Mobbie, Keita, Phungwayo, Jantjie, Masehe, Mokhuoane, Maphakisa (Hlubi 63’), Dlamini (Teyise 88’), Anas (Abrahms 70’).

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