Telkom Knockout: Semifinals Preview

Our football analyst previews the Telkom Knockout semifinal clashes which kick off on Saturday 18 November 2017. 

Only four teams are left in this year’s Telkom Knockout and this weekend they’ll be battling it out for the two spots in the final. Bidvest Wits are looking to salvage the poor first half of the season by claiming some silverware and they have to oust rejuvenated Kaizer Chiefs at this stage of the tournament to keep their hopes alive.

Elsewhere, the clash between Bloemfontein Celtic and Polokwane City is another source of much intrigue as both teams have been marvelous recently. Let’s take a look how it will all unfold.
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Saturday 18 November
Bidvest Wits 28/10 | Draw 23/10 | Kaizer Chiefs 9/10 
The Clever Boys shockingly lie second from the bottom on the PSL standings after an impressive season last time out in which they claimed the league and MTN8 double. They’ve lost five of their opening nine matches, but it’s interesting to note that they didn’t lose against Kaizer Chiefs. Amr Gamal’s last-gasp equaliser was enough to help 10-man Wits salvage a point against Chiefs the last time these two sides met. The match will also be remembered for the infamous confrontation between the Wits COO, Jonathan Schloss, and the Kaizer Chiefs coach, Steve Komphela, after the final whistle.

Chiefs remain undefeated in the last five matches with three wins and two draws. They didn’t have a fantastic game against Chippa United the last time out but they managed to grind out a 1-0 victory to reach this stage of the tournament. Their goalkeeper and captain, Itumeleng Khune, fractured his eye socket in that match but he did play for the national team this past weekend with the aid of a protective face mask. His availability will be key for the team. Most of Chiefs’ key players are in the national team and they will come back with a great deal of energy. I’m expecting them to get the better of the Students.

Sunday 19 November

Polokwane City 14/10 | Draw 2/1 | Bloemfontein Celtic 19/10 
It wasn’t easy for Polokwane City to overcome the Orlando Pirates hurdle in the quarter-finals as they needed a penalty shootout to emerge 4-2 victors in a match that ended 2-2 after extra time. Polokwane City have drawn three and won one of their last four league games. They will be counting on Rodney Ramagalela’s sizzling form to inspire them to new heights as he’s currently the PSL’s leading goalscorer. Ramagalela is also the league’s October Player of the Month and the winner of the Goal of the Month award for his sumptuous strike against former club, Mamelodi Sundowns.

Bloemfontein Celtic coach, Veselin Jelusic has been crowned the PSL’s Coach of the Month of October after his side won three and drew one of their last five league games. In the Telkom Knockout, they’ve been efficient against tricky opponents, getting the better of SuperSport United and Platinum Stars. Jelusic has attributed his side’s recent resurgence to teamwork, new players and the ability of his players to implement his tactics accordingly. Get on Celtic to book a spot in the final.

DOUBLE @ 9/2
Kaizer Chiefs Win 9/10
Bloem Celtic Win 19/10


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