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FS Stars v Bloem Celtic

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Celtic: Celebration time on Sunday?

Celtic: Celebration time on Sunday?

Sunday afternoon's Free State derby will decide which of Bloemfontein Celtic or Free State Stars progress to the Telkom Knockout final.

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Traditionally there has been little to choose between the provincial rivals, with Stars winning 13 to Celtic's 12 matches, while there have been 17 draws.

It is Phunya Sele Sele, however, who appear to be the side in slightly better form as the match at the Charles Mopeli Stadium draws nearer.

One of the best supported teams in South Africa, the last time the trophy cabinet was opened with any significance was in 2005 when the SAA Supa8 was added to the collection.

There appears to be a growing belief within the team that this could be their year, and recent come-from-behind victories, against Chippa United and Orlando Pirates, would only have added to that.

Celtic coach Clinton Larsen, however, knows that there is still work to be done before its time to start getting the champagne on ice.

Key for Larsen is his side's ability to make the most of their opportunities.

"The game will be won by the team that will convert chances created," he said.

"We are a team that creates chances but have been letting ourselves down by not converting those chances.

"We have to be at our best for the match against Stars. They are a quality team and have a quality coach in Steve Komphela."

For their part, the less fashionable Ea Lla Koto have been inconsistent this season.

But home ground advantage is on their side and in Phuthaditjhaba, they are a very hard outfit to beat.

Stars captain Paulus Masehe will play a crucial role in the midfield as he goes head-to-head with Siwele's anchorman Letladi Madubanya.

Masehe showed his respect towards Sunday's opponents, but believes his troops can advance through to the final if they play at their best level.

"Preparations have been going well as you saw from our training session that we have been working very hard since the beginning of the week," he said.

"Celtic is a difficult team to play against as they are very unpredictable and you don't know what to expect from them on the day. They have very good strikers who are clinical in front of goals.

"We need to go out there and perform to the best of our abilities and focus on winning the match and minimising mistakes."

Posted: 16/11/12 14:13

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