Kaizer Chiefs looking to bounce back against Celtic

Kaizer Chiefs will be looking to put their recent winless run behind them when they host Bloemfontein Celtic at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday at 18:00. This last DStv Premiership encounter of the year 2020 has been billed as a must win for both teams as they will be in African Club competitions action the following week.

Amakhosi and Phunya Sele Sele have a long history dating back to 6 June 1971 when the two sides met for the first time in the league. With Celtic as hosts, Chiefs won 5-0 the first round and in the second game that season Chiefs ran out 2-1 winners on 24 July 1971.

In the PSL era, the sides met from the inaugural season in 1996-97 up until the 2000-01 season. They did not meet between the 2001-02 and 2003-04 seasons while Celtic were in the lower tier.

The rivalry between the teams resumed in the 2004-05 campaign with Chiefs winning the first clash between the teams on 5 January 2005. In the return game, Amakhosi won on the final day of the season a result which saw Chiefs win the league title ahead of their rivals Orlando Pirates.

Last season when the sides met, Chiefs won the first clash as the home team 5-3 coming from behind to win the game, with Samir Nurković scoring a hat-trick and becoming just the second Chiefs player to score three goals in a league game against Celtic in the PSL era. The other player to score a hattrick was Kaizer Motaung Jnr who netted for Chiefs in a 4-0 league win in the 2006-07 campaign. Celtic won the return game played during the bio bubble as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, 3-1.

Games between the sides have always been fiercely contested affairs and they have clashed 42 times since 1996-97 in league games. Chiefs have an upper hand winning 22 games, Celtic 6 with a further 14 games ending in draws. Furthermore, Chiefs have a good record at home against Celtic and have not lost in their last 24 league games at home against Siwelele.

Overall Chiefs have lost just two of their last 21 league games against Celtic while winning eight and have also managed to keep 14 clean sheets in this run. Beginning in the 2011-12 season until the end of the 2016-17 season, Chiefs did not let in a goal against Celtic, until conceding in a 1-1 draw in Bloemfontein on the opening day of the 2017-18 season.

For both teams, this game is vital as Celtic had begun the season without a win in their opening four games losing three in a row in that run. They have turned the tide and have won their last two games in a row. Chiefs will also be targeting the three valuable points on offer as they look to climb up the table ahead and gain a huge confidence booster ahead of their next game in the African Champions League against Primero De Agosto of Angola.

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