Telkom Knockout Preview


The Telkom Knockout reaches the quarter-final stage this weekend. All the big guns are still in the tournament and have avoided each other in the quarter-finals due to the seeding system for the draws.  

Please note at the time of writing the below teams had not played their midweek league matches.

Saturday

Bidvest Wits 14/10 draw 22/10 SuperSport 18/10
Wits and SuperSport kickstart the Telkom Knockout on Saturday afternoon in what looks to be most evenly matched fixture. Wits have maintained their good league form from last season to this season and lie in fourth spot while SuperSport look a new team under ex-Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund. Wits earned their spot in the quarter-finals of the Telkom Knockout by whipping Moroka Swallows 3-0 at home. Igesund is working his magic at SuperSport as Matsatsantsa have managed to win all four games under their new coach. They earned a third consecutive three goal win in the league by smashing University of Pretoria 3-0 away from home in a Tshwane derby last weekend. This isn’t a fixture that SuperSport have fared well in in recent times with their last win against Wits coming in 2011. Wits have won two of the last five meetings since then with the sides sharing the spoils in the other three encounters. With both sides possessing solid backlines and the draw looks the most likely result for the fourth time in six matches.

Mamelodi Sundowns 4/10 draw 3/1 AmaZulu 7/1
Mamelodi Sundowns booked their spot in the next round of the Telkom Knockout after defeating University of Pretoria 2-1 in extra time at Loftus Stadium after an Elias Pelembe scorcher. A string of wins in the league has seen the defending champions climb up the table. They were dealt the easiest opponents from the four seeded teams in bottom of the log AmaZulu. AmaZulu’s only win this season has come in the Telkom Knockout first round when they defeated Bloem Celtic 3-2 at home. From being two goals down AmaZulu came back from the dressing room  at halftime and performed ‘miracles’ to overcome Celtic. Caretaker coach Wilfred Mugeyi has failed to change much since Craig Rosslee was fired and AmaZulu could be in for a long 90 minutes here. Sundowns have beaten AmaZulu six times in the last eight meetings with only two encounters ending in draws. Sundowns are a banker bet for the win.

Orlando Pirates 8/10 draw 23/10 Ajax Cape Town 7/2
Former Orlando Pirates coach Roger De Sa will take on the team he launched to the MTN8, Telkom Knockout and CAF Champions League finals last season. Now with Ajax Cape Town, the head coach has an ideal opportunity to make his former Bucs' bosses regret letting him go. Pirates have reached every single final since De Sa's time in charge, extending to new coach Vladimir Vermezovic's tenure. This tie pits them against each other in what is the match of the quarter-final round. Vermezovic has since won the Nedbank Cup, but De Sa had lost all three of his Cup finals. The Buccaneers go into this match having managed to beat Polokwane City and Free State Stars in their last two matches at home, having not lost on their turf in all competitions this season. Ajax have been strong at home, failing to beat only Kazier Chiefs but have proven inconsistent on the road. However, they are a strong unit and after going down 1-0 to Chiefs should do better against Pirates. The draw is tipped.

Sunday

Kaizer Chiefs 7/10 draw 24/10 Platinum Stars 4/1
League leaders Kaizer Chiefs will play defending Telkom Knockout champions Platinum Stars, having recently changed their destiny in head-to-head games against Dikwena. They have already met this season in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals over two legs and a league encounter with AmaKhosi winning all three encounters conceding not a single goal. Chiefs set a new PSL record of 15 successive wins in all competitions when they beat Ajax 1-0 in Cape Town last Sunday. Platinum Stars started their title defence with a 1-0 home win over Platinum Stars in the first round of the Telkom Knockout. However, they are in bad form in the league at the time of writing and have lost their last two away matches to SuperSport and Maritzburg. Chiefs should continue their impressive form by claiming a victory here.


Written by Wayde Dorkin
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Soccer Pro’s Picks
Wits DRAW 22/10
Sundowns WIN 4/10
Pirates DRAW 23/10
Chiefs WIN 7/10