Telkom Knockout: Last 16 Preview



It’s that time of the year when the Telkom Knockout takes centre stage! The seeding of teams should have made most games easy to call but the fact that teams like Kaizer Chiefs and the defending champions, Baroka, finished outside the top eight last season, made some encounters a bit tricky. Let’s look at how they’re likely to pan out.

Friday 18 October

Maritzburg United 28/10 
Draw 22/10 
Bidvest Wits 1/1 
(20:00)

The Team of Choice head into this one off the back of a two-match winning streak which has suddenly turned their fortunes around as they look set to steer clear of the relegation dogfight come end of the season. New signings like Daylon Claasen, Jeremy Brockie and Micah Lea'alafa are starting to gel with the rest of the team and producing the desired results. Wits have been superb in the league, winning all but one of their games so far this season. It will be interesting to see if the FIFA international break won’t break their momentum. Back Wits to win at even money.

Saturday 19 October 

Cape Town City 23/10 
Draw 2/1 
Kaizer Chiefs 13/10 
(15:00)

This is set to be a thrill-packed encounter with these sides having met in the league last month where Chiefs came back from a goal down to record a 2-1 victory. Cape Town City who last won this trophy in 2016 have been poor in the league as they have won one of their eight games so far this season. Coach Benni McCarthy has started pointing the accusing finger at his chairman for not backing him in the transfer market. On the other hand, Kaizer Chiefs, who have collected an impressive 19 points out of a possible 24, top the PSL standings. Amakhosi kept themselves busy this past weekend by participating in the Shell Helix Ultra Cup where they thrashed Mamelodi Sundowns 4-2 and the Macufe Cup where they lost 2-0 to Bloemfontein Celtic. I’m backing Chiefs against embattled opponents.

Golden Arrows 16/10 
Draw 2/1 
Polokwane City 18/10 
(15:00)

The hosts have endured indifferent form in the opening stages of the current PSL season. Steve Komphela’s men head into this match off the back of a five-match winless run and they have only won two league games this season. Polokwane City who started the season like a house on fire have recently slumped off form and they head into this game of a back of a two-match losing streak. It’s interesting to note that 50% of the league games involving Arrows end in draws and this could be another stalemate. I think it will be a draw after regulation time.

Orlando Pirates 6/10 
Draw 24/10 
Stellenbosch 11/2 
(18:00) 

The Buccaneers have won only two league games this season and the change in coaching personnel has really hit them hard. They have scored six goals in the last two league games but only managed to collect one point in the process. Tshegofatso Mabaso is in good form and coach Rhulani Mokwena will look to him to score goals. Stellies have managed to remain unbeaten in the last three league games with two draws and a shock win against Polokwane City. Both these teams are scoring but they also concede a lot of goals so I’ll back Both Teams to Score and Pirates to win.

SuperSport United 6/10 
Draw 23/10 
Baroka 4/1 
(20:15)

SuperSport United are high on confidence having recently lifted the MTN8 and their striker Bradley Grobler is on fire! The Bafana Bafana forward is among the league’s top goalscorers and his solitary goal in the MTN8 final earned Matsatsantsa the coveted trophy. Thamsanqa Gabuza has also not disappointed since joining the team as he has also been finding the back of the net on a regular basis. Kaitano Tembo’s men come up against the defending champions in Baroka who have been struggling this season and they have lost four of their last five league games. The momentum is with the hosts and I foresee them winning this one comfortably.

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Sunday 20 October 

Highlands Park 1/1 
Draw 22/10 
Black Leopards 28/10 
(15:00)

Highlands Park have done well this season as they reached the MTN8 final where they lost 1-0 to SuperSport United. They are unbeaten in the last five league games with a record of three wins and two draws. It’s absolute contrast for their opponents who find themselves only two places above the relegation zone despite signing big name players at the start of the season. Put your money on the home side.

Mamelodi Sundowns 5/10 
Draw 28/10 
AmaZulu 6/1 
(15:00)

The Brazilians last won this trophy in 2015 and it often coincides with their busy CAF Champions League schedule. Pitso Mosimane’s men will also have the game against Kaizer Chiefs next week in mind when they host Usuthu. AmaZulu are currently in the relegation zone but they have won their first league game under Jozef Vukusic as Bongi Ntuli’s brace handed them a 2-1 victory over Cape Town City the last time out. I’m not sure if the visitors will prioritise this competition give their precarious log position hence why I’m backing Sundowns.

Tuesday 22 October 

Chippa United 21/10 
Draw 2/1 
Bloemfontein Celtic 14/10 
(19:10)

Chippa United who have recently parted ways with coach Clinton Larsen and caretaker coach Duran Francis have now appointed Norman Mapeza to steer the ship. The Chilli Boys are rooted to the foot of the PSL table without a single victory in their eight games so far this season. Bloemfontein Celtic have been blowing hot and cold with mixed results, but they should be too strong for a side that is fighting relegation and has a new coach. I say Celtic win this one at Sisa Dukashe Stadium.

TREBLE @ 5/1
Kaizer Chiefs Win 13/10
SuperSport United Win 15/20
Mamelodi Sundowns Win 5/10

Written by Benedict Ngwenya

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