On Wednesday, May 10, the Orlando Pirates supporters will be backing the Buccaneers to claim all three points at the Dr Molemela Stadium as the Soweto giants target a top eight finish. Bucs, however, will be playing away against Bloemfontein Celtic and with Phunya Sele Sele mathematically still in the relegation zone, the hosts will be adamant on collecting all three points on offer.
Mamelodi Sundowns will be in action on Wednesday as Coach Pitso Mosimane keeps the club’s title hopes alive. The defending PSL champions will host relegation-threatened Baroka FC, in what is a must-win for both clubs.
On the European front, Ateltico Madrid and Real Madrid clash in a Madrid derby on Wednesday, with a place in this year’s UEFA Champions League final on offer, while Manchester United and Celta Vigo do battle in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals on Thursday, May 11.
Bloemfontein Celtic v Orlando Pirates (Absa Premiership)
League rankings: Celtic 12th & Pirates 10th
Useful facts: Pirates’ record on their travels to Celtic is far from impressive, with only one win from their last 10 and, with Siwelele having a game in hand, a loss could see them fall behind them in the standings, come the end of the season. Furthermore, just one win from their last four will be bad for the Buccaneers’ morale. But, Celtic did lose on penalties in the Nedbank Cup against the Soweto giants, which could create a psychological disadvantage.
Matthew Booth: Celtic win
Mamelodi Sundowns v Baroka (Absa Premiership)
League rankings: Sundowns 2nd & Baroka 15th
Useful facts: Two teams with very different ambitions that will give them plenty of motivation. In just one league game between the two, Sundowns won the game in December, but by only a 1-0 margin, which will give Bakgaga some self-belief. Sundowns have six wins from their last eight, as opposed to Baroka’s three in that timeframe.
Matthew Booth: Sundowns
Man Utd v Celta Vigo (Europa League)
League rankings: Man Utd 5th (Premier League) & Celta 12th (La Liga)
Useful facts: United come into this game with a 1-0 lead, which includes a crucial away goal, and Celta are on a run of five consecutive defeats. United’s loss to Arsenal on the weekend will give them the added motivation, knowing that winning the tournament is their best chance of reaching next season’s Champions League, which is, needless to say, their number one objective at this stage of the season.
Matthew Booth: United win
Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid (Champions League)
League rankings: Real Madrid 2nd & Atletico 3rd (La Liga)
Useful facts: Coming in from the 3-0 loss at the Bernabeu will make this tie seem an almost impossible battle for Atletico, especially considering that their 3-0 league loss at home in the league against their neighbours towards the end of last year. Furthermore, Real have avoided defeat to their cross-town rivals in five of their last six games and are undefeated in 14 of their last 15 Champions League matches.
Matthew Booth: Real Madrid