Orlando Pirates and Bloemfontein Celtic have visited hell so often this season that it is starting to look a lot like home.

One result might not be enough, but three points at Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium on Wednesday would offer the winner a much-needed reprieve and move up the log.

The Buccaneers are having a season to forget‚ made worse by this being the year the club will celebrate its 80th anniversary.

The Ghost have not been given any reason to celebrate as Pirates flirt with finishing outside the top eight for the first time in the club’s history.

Pirates‚ in 10th place‚ might just be a point adrift of 8th-placed Ajax Cape Town, but have been way behind the best teams. While they can at best hope for a top-eight position in the league, the Nedbank Cup offers them a silver lining.

They will look to pick up momentum ahead of their Nedbank Cup semifinal on May 21 after having slumped to back-to-back defeats to championship contenders BidVest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns.

Those defeats were a rude reminder of where Pirates find themselves this season.

Coach Kjell Jonevret might have injected some belief in the team‚ but they will need more than that to shake themselves out of this slump.

Celtic also have problems of their own.

Their coach‚ Luc Eymael‚ still cannot sit on the bench because of the legal drama surrounding his move from Polokwane City.

Lehlohonolo Seema’s stint as caretaker coach has been prolonged because of that.

While Celtic have played with more structure since Eymael’s arrival‚ their problems off the field have not helped a club that could be drawn into the relegation dogfight.

Four points separate Celtic from bottom-placed Highlands Park. But Celtic’s safety should be assured by the fact that the four teams below them still have to play each other.

But they would not want to leave it to chance‚ which is why a victory at home against Pirates is vital.

TMG Digital

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