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MTN8 Final: Bloemfontein Celtic v Orlando Pirates Betting Guid

MTN8 Final: Bloemfontein Celtic v Orlando Pirates. The first piece of silverware of the domestic season is up for grabs this Saturday.

Orlando Pirates clash with Bloemfontein Celtic on Saturday afternoon to decide who will lift the first trophy of the 25th PSL season. Pirates blew Chiefs away in the semi-finals (5-0 on aggregate), while Celtic only edged past the defending champions Supersport (2-1 over two legs). If one of these scorelines is to be repeated in the final, 2-1 is probably more likely than 5-0. As usual, we ran through some numbers related to this fixture to arm you with information a punter may need.

4 – Pirates have won four of the last ten games played with Celtic since 2017, conceding more than once in only one of those games.

No PSL side has reached the final of this competition on more occasions than Orlando Pirates (Supersport and Chiefs also 7). The Buccaneers have won three and lost three of their previous Top8 finals, but will be hoping to win another, in the process equalling the record for most Top8 titles by a side in the PSL era (4). Confidence should be sky-high in the camp. After all, Pirates’ 5-0 aggregate victory in the semi-final was the joint-biggest margin of victory in a two-legged semi in the history of the #MTN8 competition. The recent history between the sides also slightly favours Pirates:

Possible Bet: Pirates to win at 2.00

Both teams are no strangers to Cup finals. Each of the last ten seasons has seen at least one domestic final contested by one of either Celtic or Pirates, but their most recent appearances have not been favourable. The last six Cup final appearances for both have ended in defeat. Sadly, there is no market for both teams to lose.

That said, Celtic’s wounds are fresher – they narrowly lost to Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup final in September. Meanwhile, it has been two years since Pirates’ shock defeat to Baroka, which cemented an already abysmal reputation for finals: Orlando Pirates have lost 12 domestic Cup finals in the PSL era, the joint most of all PSL sides (Sundowns also 12).

37% – Pirates have a 37% win rate in domestic Cup finals in the PSL era (won 7 out of 19), the lowest ratio of all sides to have participated in at least two finals.

Yet, Pirates have reached the final without conceding a single goal. They did the same in the 2007 SAA Supa 8, only to lose 1-0 to Sundowns in the final. The one-goal conceding Pirates defence was finally unlocked by Cape Town City in the last game, but it remains to be seen whether that was a once-off occurrence. In the last 10 clashes between the two sides, Celtic have scored more than one goal in a game on one occasion.

1 – Cape Town City became only the second side to score two goals in a competitive game against Orlando Pirates since Josef Zinnbauer took over in December last year (Pirates have played 27 games in that time).

Possible Bet: Orlando Pirates Clean Sheet

On the other hand, Celtic will come into the game on the back of a defeat in the CAF Confederations Cup. They still managed to progress on penalties, however, but that result was symbolic of the inconsistency that plagues a rather talented side. August 2018 was the last time that Celtic strung together three wins in a row in all competitions. The CAF result was also symbolic of a team that is used to doing just enough to get over the line:

1 – Celtic have reached the final by scoring one goal in each of the three matches they played in the tournament.

If omens matter, John Maduka will be on the touchline as head coach for Celtic. He was a player for Bloemfontein Celtic when they reached their only other PSL-era Top8 final (2005 Supa8) which they won 1-0. More than that, the charm of knocking out the defending champions may also be a boost.

2 – The side that knocked out the defending MTN8 champions has gone on to win the tournament in each of the last two tournament editions.

Even so, finals can also be cagey affairs, and if both teams choose to play safe football, this could be another low scoring affair. The last match between the sides ended 1-0 with a late Siphelele Ndlovu goal. Indeed, only one of the last six MTN8 finals has seen both teams score on the day. Pirates have also never scored more than one goal in a Top8 final in their PSL history and they have contested six Top8 finals in the PSL era.

1 – Only one of the last seven MTN8 finals has seen more than two goals in the game in regulation time.

Possible Bet: Under 2.5 goals

Suggested Bet: Orlando Pirates win at 2.00

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