Reports & Previews

Chippa United v Bloem Celtic

Strugglers Chippa United welcome Bloemfontein Celtic to Sisa Dukashe Stadium on Friday evening, in what will be the first Premiership game of 2019.

The Chilli Boys, currently second from bottom in the Premiership, are on a woeful run of form, with their last win coming all the way back at the start of November.

In the eight games that followed, Chippa recorded four draws and four defeats, with their most recent result being a 2-0 loss to league leaders Wits on December 21.

Siwelele, meanwhile, are in a state of turmoil following the sudden departure of head coach Steve Komphela.

The former Kaizer Chiefs boss dropped a bombshell last week when he announced his decision to step down from his position at Celtic, before promptly signing a deal with Golden Arrows. This came after a run of four straight defeats in the Premiership, along with persistent talk of the club's financial woes.

For Chippa, their mission is a simple one, pick up points from the teams around them in the league standings.

"For us, we just have to focus on the six teams that are at the bottom. We don’t have to look up and check where Wits or Pirates is right now," Chippa coach Joel Masutha is quoted as saying by KickOff.

"We will just have to play our six-team mini-league."

Following the departure of Komphela to Arrows, Lehlohonolo Seema, John Maduka and Simon Gopane will guide the first team for the time being.

Celtic's Managing Director, Rali Ramabodu, has called on the club's players to recapture "the winning mentality" as they prepare to face Chippa United.

"We are pretty much aware that the Chippa United game will be a mountain to club looking at their precarious situation, but we hope that our team wins to revive the winning mentality," Ramabodu is quoted as saying by Backpage TXT.

"The boys must go for the kill. The same zeal and determination shown during the first half of our game against Cape Town City must prevail and beyond.

"Again, the team is not playing bad, sometimes we have been unfortunate by missing a lot of chances only to concede on silly goal."