Mamelodi Sundowns aim to set the record straight when they take on Bloemfontein Celtic as the ABSA Premiership resumes, and the Tshwane Giants get back on their mission to defend the league championship they won last season. Celtic host the African Champions at the Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Celtic inflicted the biggest defeat Sundowns suffered when they lambasted the Brazilians 3-1 last season, on the back of another blasting, this time 5-0 the previous year on home soil, achieving what nobody has been able to do, even champions from the rest of the African continent.
That’s a total of 8-1 in two games at what has come to be known as the Brazillians slaughterhouse .
These results were clearly an aberration as head to head statistics show Sundowns having won 17 of their 28 encounters while Celtic have only won six with five drawn in all competitions. Celtic have only beaten Sundowns twice at their home ground, while Sundowns have 10 victories away.
The Brazilians would have welcomed the break in unrelenting soccer following their campaign in both league, cup and continental competition due to the Africa Cup of Nations. They went 17 months of soccer culminating in the FIFA Club World Cup.
While they had a mid-season camp, in which they played some practice games, the intensity was clearly not the same. The players who featured for their countries were given time off, and the technical team is hoping that Khama Billiat and Denis Onyango have had time to refresh their bodies as they go back to the grindstone.
Celtic have their tails up following a 2-1 victory over Orlando Pirates away, and draws against SuperSport United (0-0) , Highlands Park (1-1), and Kaizer Chiefs (0-0).