Sundowns look to bounce back against Celtic

Percy Tau of Mamelodi Sundowns. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Percy Tau of Mamelodi Sundowns. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Mamelodi Sundowns need to breathe some life back in to their title defence tonight as they take on Bloemfontein Celtic at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.

The Brazilians are suffering a slump in form that sees them without a league win since the end of February. Pitso Mosimane’s men still have games in hand on the rest, but appear to be running out of steam.

Keagan Dolly’s departure to Montpellier in January has not helped, and neither has a serious injury list.

The reigning PSL Footballer-of- the-Year Khama Billiat is at least now back and netted his side’s first league goal in four matches in the 2-1 defeat to Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Dennis Onyango, meanwhile, could well return – he has been out since going off early in Sundowns’ 2-0 win over Bidvest Wits on February 25.

Onyango’s commanding presence in goal should help avoid the kind of organisational calamity that led to Bangaly Soumahoro’s own goal that handed Amakhosi the win on Saturday.

There is worse news for Sundowns with regard to defender Wayne Arendse and striker Sibusiso Vilakazi, who could both be missing for the rest of the season.

It took a late goal from Themba Zwane for Sundowns to win at Celtic on February 8, and Phunya Sele Sele have since changed coaches, with Belgian Luc Eymael taking over the reins.

Eymael, however, has yet to sit on the bench for Celtic, as he is in an ongoing contractual dispute with his former club Polokwane City. The matter is still to be heard by a Premier Soccer League Disciplinary Committee.

Ironically, Celtic won 1-0 at City on Sunday, their second straight clean sheet following an impressive goalless draw with league leaders Cape Town City.

Lyle Lakay got the goal for Celtic, who have been generally awful in attack this season, hitting the back of the net just 13 times in 21 matches, the worst scoring record in the entire league (even Baroka FC have scored 16 times).

Celtic will also no doubt be fired up to win the game against Sundowns in honour of former life president Dr Petrus Molemela, who died on March 26 at the age of 83.

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