It’s Wafa Wafa time today as Bloemfontein Celtic and Orlando Pirates are set to do battle in the MTN8 Final at Moses Mabhida Stadium this evening (18:00).
Siwelele will be the home team and they have the backing of three FARPost Journos. The Buccaneers, the away team, also have three FARPost scribes in their corner.
Each Journo was asked to make a prediction, away from the rest and it came down to this…
CELTIC TO WIN – PRINCE SOBAYENI
In their previous three games, Bloemfontein Celtic have shown the ability to grind out results in important games. In the CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round games against Maniena Union, ‘Siwelele’ won 2-0 away from home and when Maniena managed to score two goals in the return leg to take the game to penalties, Celtic managed to win in the penalty shootout to go through to the next round of the competition.
Orlando Pirates on the other hand have struggled to see out games. Last minute draws against Cape Town City and Baroka have shown how vulnerable the ‘Buccaneers’ are at the back.
In their previous three games, coach Josef Zinnbauer’s side conceded four goals. Although their attackers have been doing their part in scoring goals, the defence remains their biggest weakness going into the final.
PIRATES TO WIN – MAUWANE RAOPHALA
Judging by how strong the Soweto giants started the new season, they will be heading into the MTN8 final as favorites. Orlando Pirates haven’t won silverware since 2014. Therefore, Bucs will be gunning for a victory to give assurance to their supporters that they are back to reclaim their glory days and the MTN8 is the cup to begin with. On the other hand, Siwelele come in this clash seeking revenge following their 1-0 defeat against the Sea Robbers in the league game. With all being said, Pirates will win 2-1 come Saturday night.
PIRATES ARE HUNGRY – MTHOKOZISI DUBE
Orlando Pirates will emerge victorious in this one, they are hungry to end the trophy drought and, so far, look like a side that has a bit of pedigree to win some silverware this season. They will also be buoyed by their recent 1-0 win over Bloemfontein Celtic, but, of course, it will be a tough encounter and, most likely, a narrow win.
I SEE PIRATES SCORING – TIYANI wa ka MABASA
Pirates look like a solid unit and are difficult to break down. Since Zinnbauer too over a year ago, they’ve only conceded two goals in a game only twice, including in the recent 2-2 draw with Cape Town City. They’ll obviously come up against in-form attacking players like Ndumiso Mabena and Victor Letsoalo, but I expect Thulani Hlatshwayo and company to handle them. To their advantage, Pirates have a lot of options upfront from the wingers like Vincent Pule to the strikers, such as Zakhele Lepasa. I see Pirates scoring, but I don’t see them conceding.
CELTIC CAN CAUSE AN UPSET – OFHANI MUNYAI
Celtic are certainly the underdogs coming into the MTN8 final on Saturday night, but they are more than capable of causing a big upset. Playing in their second final in a space of three months, the John Maduka side look more determined with a will to win.
With players such as Ndumiso Mabena and Victor Letsoalo in fine form, Siwelele have enough ammunition to cause an upset. It has not been an easy road to the final for Celtic having to defeat two formidable sides in Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United and that has shown that they have the pedigree to win.
Pirates have gone nine years without lifting the MTN8 trophy, and six years without winning a trophy of any sort and they will be determined to clinch this one but so is Celtic who will be looking to win their first silverware in eight years. Celtic to win via penalties
I AM BACKING SIWELELE – TOKELO MOKHESI
With Bloemfontein Celtic undergoing heavy financial strain in recent years, they will be extra motivated to clinch the MTN8 title as the R8-million winners’ cheque will go some way to improve the club’s dire finances.
They are as hungry as Pirates to win this trophy.
Due to their recent form in the Caf Confederation Cup and DStv Premiership as well in the MTN8 Cup, where they beat Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United, I am backing Celtic to win 1-0 on Saturday evening in Durban.
*The match will be live on SuperSport’s PSL channel (202)