Thanda aim to avoid relegation battle

News

Kick off is at 15h00.

Amabhubesi suffered a 2-0 reverse against a rejuvenated Mamelodi Sundowns last Wednesday, following on from a 1-3 embarrassment against Golden Arrows just a few days earlier.

The two losses have set Thanda back in their attempt to retain their top flight status, although they are still out of immediate danger in 14th place. However, Jomo Cosmos are just three points behind and they have not lost any of their last six league games.

In fact, should Thanda fall to defeat against Celtic and Cosmos, who play Golden Arrows at home simultaneously, pick up three points, then Amabhubesi will drop into the danger zone thanks to an inferior goal difference.

To avoid that fate, the KwaZulu-Natal team will look to inflict upon Celtic their fourth loss in five league matches.

It could have been five in five had Moses Spandeel not rescued Phunya Sele Sele against Black Leopards in their last outing, securing a 2-2 draw with virtually the last kick of the game.

Celtic have not won a league game in two months, picking up just two points out of a possible 21 since a 3-2 win over AmaZulu on February 24. \The popular side has simply imploded this season after a promising start saw them installed as early favourites for the PSL title – now they are in a battle just to survive.

In head-to-head statistics, the teams are perfectly matched after three league meetings: each claimed 1-0 victories over the other last season, and this term they played to a 1-1 draw on December 9 last year.

Thanda’s coach Roger Palmgren tells KickOff.com that he is confident his side has rectified the mistakes they made against Sundowns.

“We have identified that our defence and midfielders have not been aggressive enough. The players have been making wrong passes and this week has been dedicated in rectifying that”

Palmgren also defended Iceland keeper Arni Arason pathetic performance of late. He has conceded five goals in two games.

“Yes that is not a great start, but I think he will come right. He will be back between the poles when we play Celtic,” said Palmgren.

Only winger Katlego Loke will sit out the clash due to suspension but Japie Motale and July Mahlangu will make a timely return after missing last week’s.

LAST FIVE RESULTS:

Thanda: Date H/A Opponent Result 16/04/08 A Mamelodi Sundowns L 0-2 12/04/08 A Golden Arrows L 1-3 22/03/08 H Orlando Pirates W 2-1 09/03/08 A Moroka Swallows D 0-0 05/03/08 H AmaZulu L 1-2

Celtic: 13/04/08 H Black Leopards D 2-2 05/04/08 A Golden Arrows L 0-3 23/03/08 H Santos L 0-1 12/03/08 H Platinum Stars L 0-2 08/03/08 A Mamelodi Sundowns D 0-0

HEAD TO HEAD STATS: League meeting since 2006/07:

2006/07 Celtic 1 (Kukame) Benoni 0 Benoni 1 (Parker) Celtic 0

2007/08 Celtic 1 (Kukame) Thanda 1 (Parker)

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