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Nedbank Cup: Quarter-final Preview

Nedbank Cup: Quarter-final Preview

Four scrumptious Nedbank Cup clashes will determine who advances to the penultimate stage of this year’s competition. Kaizer Chiefs have finally drawn a PSL side in Cape Town City with Cape Umoya taking on TS Galaxy in an all-NFD affair. Elsewhere, Bloemfontein Celtic host Golden Arrows who are under the mentorship of their former coach, Steve Komphela, while Bidvest Wits entertain Chippa United. Which four teams will go through to the semi-finals?
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Wednesday 27 March

Cape Umoya 16/10 
Draw 39/20 
TS Galaxy 18/10 

Cape Umoya have been impressive under the mentorship of Dominic Isaacs as they’ve dramatically climbed up to 11th on the league table and hit the 30-point mark. That’s amazing as the team flirted with relegation under Roger De Sa who decided to focus on management and hand over the coaching reigns to the former Kaizer Chiefs defender. To reach this stage, TS Galaxy knocked out Ajax Cape Town, Umvoti FC and Jomo Cosmos. Zakhele Lepasa who is on loan from Orlando Pirates has been phenomenal since the turn of the year and that has earned him a call up to the national Under 23 squad. Back Cape Umoya due to home ground advantage.

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Saturday 30 March

Bloemfontein Celtic 5/4 
Draw 39/20 
Golden Arrows 47/20 

Bloemfontein Celtic are winless in their last five league games with two defeats and three draws. They now lie eighth on the log but I don’t think that will be in their minds when they play a cup game as they still have enough games to fight for a top eight finish. Arrows is one of the teams that have been lucky with the draw as they had to play Tjakastad and Witbank Spurs to reach this round. Steve Komphela’s first return to Celtic ended in a 1-1 stalemate in a match that was marred by Celtic fans boycotting the stadium to express their dissatisfaction with the way the club is run. This will be a tough one to call and I think it will go to extra time and possibly penalties.

Bidvest Wits 7/10 
Draw 47/20 
Chippa United 17/4 

Bidvest Wits, who are among the league title contenders, lie second on the table having played a game more than top-placed Mamelodi Sundowns and third-placed Orlando Pirates. Wits had four players in the Bafana Bafana starting line-up that beat Libya 2-1 to qualify for the AFCON. Those players are defenders Sifiso Hlanti, Thulani Hlatshwayo and Buhle Mkhwanazi as well as goalkeeper Darren Keet which shows how solid their defensive players are. They come up against a Chippa United side that sits just one spot above the relegation zone and might welcome being knocked out of this competition. The Chilli Boys are winless in their last four league games and surviving relegation should now be their main priority. I’m backing Wits here.

Sunday 31 March

Kaizer Chiefs 14/10 
Draw 21/10 
Cape Town City 39/20

This is a massive encounter between two teams that are among the favourites to win the competition. Chiefs are unbeaten in the last six games across all competitions and their last defeat was against Cape Town City which was down to a well-publicised blunder by goalkeeper Virgil Vries. Ernst Middendorp has since replaced the goalminder in the top and second spots in terms of the pecking order by Daniel Akpeyi who was signed the next day from Chippa United and Bruce Bvuma who used to be the third-choice keeper. Cape Town City have knocked out two PSL sides in Highlands Park and SuperSport United. Captain Thamsanqa Mkhize formed part of the Bafana Bafana starting line-up that beat Libya on foreign soil to qualify for the African Cup of Nations. The Citizens were the last team to hand Amakhosi a defeat and I expect them to give them their next one, put your money on Benni McCarthy’s boys.

QUAD @ 37/1
Cape Umoya Win 16/10
Celtic vs Arrows Draw 39/20
Bidvest Wits Win 7/10
Cape Town City Win 39/20

Written by Benedict Ngwenya