Celtic, Arrows In Clash Of Titans

With the two coaches familiar with each other, Celtic and Arrows are certain to deliver a mouth-watering encounter during the Nedbank quarter finals.

Golden Arrows’ Nedbank Cup quarter final against Bloemfontein Celtic tomorrow (Sat) afternoon at Dr Molemela Stadium is set to thrill football fanatics who are expected in large numbers.

The game will be the first-ever knockout tie between Abafana Bes’thende and Phunya Sele Sele and fans can hardly wait.

In a telephonic interview with The Weekly, Golden Arrows coach Steve Komphela said he was ready for the encounter.

The former Celtic coach said he has been trying a number of different moves and combinations with the players.

“Each group of players from defence through to the forwards have been running different plays and scenarios in preparation for the game as we face a determined Bloemfontein Celtic who are holding their own in the league,” he revealed.

Komphela is familiar with his opponents and refuses to undermine his former club as they are a tough nut to crack at home and have given many teams a nightmare.

“One can never underestimate Celtic at home. That is suicide, especially playing in their own background. I think they are going to come at us in an attempt to get early goals and take control of the match. We’ve prepared for this scenario should it be the case,” he added.

“Both Bloem coaches Lehlohonolo Seema and John Maduka have proven to be tactical at times and though this is something they don’t do often, whenever they have resorted to this approach, it has worked for them.

“In some cases they were found wondering and facing possible defeat and once they’ve made the necessary changes which have predominantly been tactical, they’ve yielded positive results and surely this is one of the many cards they’ll playing against us in attempt to squeeze us out,” said Komphela.

“I can safely say we’ve formulated a decent plan for the game. Much as we are eager to see this one through and march to the semi-final, we have to be patient, build the necessary moment and make use of our opportunities as and when they present themselves or created.”

The last time the two teams met was during a 1-1 draw which saw them playing a similar type of football and the same can be expected as Celtic caretaker coach Seema continues to build on the foundation left by the former coach.

Not necessarily disputing the similarities, Komphela said, “Much as we’ve been attempting a few combinations, I can tell you right now that they are going to do the same for this encounter.”

Heading to this game, Seema – who has done wonders in steading the ship alongside former team player John Maduka – said this was going to be a technical game full of surprises.

Confirming that preparations leading to the game were on course, Seema said football fans were in for a thrilling encounter as the two teams do battle for a spot in the semi-finals.

“This is one of those games that are not predictable. One can only say it’s going to be a tough battle between the two teams trying to make their way to the semi-finals and possibly go all the way to the final to win the tourney,” said Seema.

Celtic should have a large home support present and this will be a great morale booster to them.

By: Thapelo Molebatsi