2017 MTN8 Preview

The quarter-finals of the MTN8 takes centre stage this weekend with some great value on offer!
The quarter-finals of the MTN8 takes centre stage this weekend with some great value on offer!
The MTN8 takes centre stage this weekend! With Kaizer Chiefs looking to return to title-winning ways, Mamelodi Sundowns in search of a comeback after being drubbed 3-0 in last year’s final by Bidvest Wits who are raring to repeat last year’s heroics, and Benni McCarthy’s Cape Town City gearing up for a new era, we are in for a treat!


Friday 11 August

7/10 Bidvest Wits | Draw 24/10 | Golden Arrows 4/1 (20:00)

The defending champions, Bidvest Wits, have bolstered their side by acquiring the services of Bafana Bafana veteran, Steven Pienaar, and former 1860 Munich midfielder, Daylon Claasen. The Students are adding to a midfield that is functioning like a well-oiled machine with the likes of Xola Mlambo, last season’s PSL Midfielder of the Season nominee, Thabang Monare, and Daine Klate troubling all South African teams last season. It’s safe to say on paper, The Clever Boys should win every single game in the domestic league. Golden Arrows have improved over the last two seasons under the tutelage of Clinton Larsen. Last campaign, they finished a notch higher and qualified for the league’s exclusive tournament. They haven’t signed any big-name players and the MTN8 provides a golden opportunity for Abafana Bes'thende to parade the young talent they’ve acquired from lower divisions. I foresee a win for Bidvest Wits.

Saturday 12 August

17/20 Cape Town City | 23/10 | Polokwane City 32/10 (15:00)

Everyone is looking forward to Cape Town City coach, Benni McCarthy, in his first match as a head coach. He has signed Bafana Bafana midfielder Ayanda Patosi to replace Bongolwethu Jayiya who joined Kaizer Chiefs and he has also captured Teko Modise’s signature from Sundowns. This was one of the most exciting teams last season and it boasts the PSL Player of the Season, Lebogang Manyama, and Midfielder of the Season, Aubrey Ngoma. After parting ways with coach Luc Eymael, assistant coach, Bernard Mlekwa, was tasked with taking care of the team in the interim and he rose to the occasion ensuring the team finishes in the top eight. Some pundits believe he stuck to Eymael’s tactics and they have worked wonders for Rise and Shine. This is a very tough one to call but I believe Cape Town City will reign supreme in the end.

11/10 Kaizer Chiefs | 21/10 | SuperSport United 5/2 (20:15)

Kaizer Chiefs is a team that has not won any major piece of silverware since the departure of Stuart Baxter in the middle of 2015. Steve Komphela is under immense pressure to turn things around. They have won two pre-season tournaments namely the Carling Black Label Champions Cup and the Maize Cup. Gustavo Paez and Bernard Parker are forging a menacing combination up front and other teams are going to really have a hard time containing the threat they pose. After finishing last season with a bang, thrashing Orlando Pirates 4-1 in the Nedbank Cup final, SuperSport parted ways with head coach, Baxter, who is now at the helm of the national team. New man, Eric Tinkler, will be extensively scrutinized after shockingly leaving Cape Town City off the back of a stunning season he had with the club. Both their league games last season ended in 1-1 draws and the Nedbank Cup clash finished 2-2 after extra-time, but Matsatsantsa knocked Chiefs out on penalties. From his days at Orlando Pirates to his time at Cape Town City, Tinkler has always proved that he has a winning formula to beat Komphela, so I’m tipping SuperSport.

Sunday 13 August

5/10 Mamelodi Sundowns | 28/10 | Maritzburg United 11/2 (15:00)

Last year’s runners up, Sundowns, failed to beat Maritzburg United last season as both matches ended in draws with the recent 2-2 stalemate being the most memorable since it handed Wits the league title. They have just snatched Orlando Pirates captain, Oupa Manyisa, away from the Buccaneers which is going to intensify competition for the midfield positions. Maritzburg United have permanently handed Fadlu Davids the head coaching position and they have improved the side by signing Siyanda Xulu from Kaizer Chiefs. The Team of Choice have also acquired the services of Ghanaian goalkeeper Richard Ofori from the champions of Ghana, We All Stars. As much as Maritzburg are Sundowns’ nemesis in big matches, I feel the Brazilians are much stronger this time around and they will triumph.

QUAD @ 16/1
Bidvest Wits Win 7/10
Cape Town City Win 17/20
SuperSport United Win 5/2
Mamelodi Sundowns Win 5/10

Written by Benedict Ngwenya