KEY BATTLES: Bloem Celtic v Maritzburg United

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Bloemfontein Celtic will welcome Maritzburg United in the Nedbank Cup Last 16 match at the Dr Molemela Stadium this evening.

The encounter is scheduled to start at 20:15 in Bloemfontein. 

In their respective Last 32 clashes, Celtic brushed aside Amazulu 4-1 while Maritzburg edged out Stellenbosch FC 5-4 on penalties following a 2-2 draw in regulation time.

With both sides looking to book their place in the quarterfinal, FARPost looks at some key battles for this match.

These battles are likely to be the deciding factor.

Ndumiso Mabena vs Siyanda Xulu

In Pitso Mosimane’s words, “Mabena is class, he is brilliant, he is the boss at Celtic.”

With a goal and an assist already in the Nedbank Cup, the Celtic captain will be a real threat for the ‘Team of Choice’.

Ndumiso Mabena is a leader with influence on the team’s performance. However, he will have his work cut out as he will be up against former Kaizer Chiefs defender Siyanda Xulu.

The rock-solid central defender has put in some decent performances this season. His big responsibility will be to keep the influential Mabena quite.

Thabiso Kutumela vs Mzwanele Mahashe

In the absence of Wandisile Letlabika due to injury, the underrated Mahashe has been marshalling the leaky Celtic defence.

This evening, Mahashe will have to shutdown a man who is giving defenders sleepless nights in the league and cup competitions this season, Thabiso Kutumela.

Kutumela grabbed a brace in Matitzburg’s 2-2 draw in regulation time against Stellenbosch FC in the Last 32 and has scored five goals in his last five matches.

Lucky Baloyi vs Keagan Buchanan

With 21 games under his belt in all competitions this campaign, the experienced Lucky Baloyi will battle it out in the central midfield with a rejuvenated Keagan Buchanan.

Nicknamed ‘The Fixer’, Buchanan is back to his best and is one of Maritzburg’s key players, calling the shots in midfield. 

Buchanan has scooped a few Man of the Match awards this season.

Whoever manages to take control of the midfield and link-up play in the attacking third and track back to help in defence will likely have the greatest impact in the game.

By FARPost Reporter 

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