Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter ahead of the team traveling to Bloemfontein on Tuesday.
Kaizer Chiefs face Bloemfontein Celtic at the Free State Stadium on Wednesday, 11 February 2015, kick-off at 19h30.
“There are two factors at play,” says Baxter. “We have to get off the mark as quickly as possible and there is an element of the break in the process, due to the Africa Cup of Nations.”
“Celtic are a tough side to play against, they are not pushovers.”
The Amakhosi are placed first on the Absa Premiership log with 46 points from 18 matches. Chiefs ended 2014 with a run of three straight wins, the last of which was 1-0 at home over Mpumalanga Black Aces. Meanwhile, Celtic are placed tenth on the Absa Premiership log with 20 points from 17 matches.
The Glamour boys have proven to be good travellers, claiming 22 points from eight away matches this season.
“We are travelling with a solid squad,” concludes Baxter. “We have only one injury concern with Phakamani Mngadi, who is recovering from a thigh injury. We will have a clearer indication of how the preparation went after the game, but we are optimistic that we will compete.”
In head-to-head stats, Celtic and Chiefs have met in 54 league matches since 1985. The Amakhosi have 31 wins compared to ten for Phunya Sele Sele, while 13 matches have been drawn. Celtic won eight of their 26 home matches against Chiefs, suffering eight defeats in the process.
When the teams met earlier this season, Amakhosi won 1-0 at home thanks to a goal from Mandla Masango, who is fresh from the 2015 Afcon where he netted a beauty against Ghana.