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Nedbank Cup: Last 16 Preview

Nedbank Cup action returns this weekend with the Last 16 fixtures taking centre stage. Mamelodi Sundowns host Vaal University of Technology while Highlands Park entertain Kaizer Chiefs in an all-Absa Premiership clash. The likes of Bidvest Wits, Chippa United, Maritzburg United and Bloemfontein Celtic are also in action.

Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore

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Friday 21 February

Black Leopards 1/4
Draw 42/10
Amavarara 8/1
(20:00)

Black Leopards must have felt hard done by pity this past weekend when they lost 1-0 to Orlando Pirates, despite producing a great performance. Defender Thabiso Mokoena inadvertently scored in his own net to hand the Buccaneers a 1-0 victory. Lidoda Duvha will be looking to right their wrongs when they welcome little known, Amavarara, who compete in the ABC Motsepe League. They recently lost a league game 3-2 to SA Spear of the Nation. Leopards should be too strong for the minnows and I’m backing them to win this one.

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Saturday 22 February

Happy Wanderers 5/2
Draw 21/10
TS Sporting 1/1
(15:00)

Happy Wanderers’ Last 32 fixture was quite favorable as they managed to oust other minnows in Zizwe United. They now face a GladAfrica Championship side which is a sterner test! TS Sporting are unbeaten in their last four league games with two wins and two draws. Put your money on the visitors.

Highlands Park 26/10
Draw 22/10
Kaizer Chiefs 19/20
(15:00)

After a poor string of results, Highlands Park have turned their fortunes around, winning three consecutive games across all competitions. The Lions of the North have kept three clean sheets in that process. New signing Musa Nyatama was handed his first start in the most recent victory and did well alongside Mlungisi Mbunjana in the middle of the park. High-flying Kaizer Chiefs suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat at the hands of Maritzburg United the last time out and fans have slammed Daniel Akpeyi for poor goalkeeping. I expect Itumeleng Khune to start this match alongside other fringe players as they have a league game against Orlando Pirates next week. The sides are likely to cancel each other out in regulation time.

Mbombela United 2/1
Draw 2/1
Real Kings 13/10
(15:00)

Mbombela United are winless in their last five league games and that has seen them drop into the relegation zone. They might sacrifice this cup to focus on survival. On the other hand, Real Kings are winless in their last four league games and they find themselves eight points adrift of third-placed Swallows. The Magic Boys might as well start kissing their promotion hopes goodbye and they must give it their all in this cup. The situation favours the visitors.

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Bloemfontein Celtic 11/10
Draw 21/10
Maritzburg United 23/10
(20:15)

The only league target Bloemfontein Celtic can realistically aim for now is finishing in the top eight. Phunya Sele Sele’s league form has been atrocious in recent weeks with a record of two defeats and one draw. They face a Maritzburg United side that’s oozing with confidence after beating table-topping Kaizer Chiefs 2-1 in the league. I’ll lean towards The Team of Choice.

Sunday 23 February

Baroka 2/9
Draw 9/2
Hungry Lions 9/1
(15:00)


It’s a clash of two teams with contrasting fortunes with the visitors enjoying a rich vein of form as they sit atop the ABC Motsepe League standings in the Northern Cape region. Hungry Lions have already slayed Jomo Cosmos and they will be looking to do the same thing when they face Baroka. Bakgakga might be deep in the relegation dogfight but they don’t hold back when playing in this competition. Dylan Kerr’s men have suffered two consecutive defeats in the league and they now find themselves level on points with the three teams below them on the log. This will be a tight encounter but Baroka should edge it.

Mamelodi Sundowns 1/20
Draw 9/1
Vaal University of Technology 20/1
(15:00)

Coach Pitso Mosimane’s wish to finally get a lesser opposition in the Nedbank Cup came true when they were drawn against Vaal University of Pretoria. The Brazilians are currently in the league title race which they must juggle with this trophy and the CAF Champions League, however the depth in their squad manifested itself when youngster Nicholus Lukhubeni started and scored a brilliant goal in their 3-0 victory over Chippa United the last time out. VUT aren’t to be underestimated as they knocked Golden Arrows out to reach this stage but Sundowns should be too strong for them.

Monday 24 February

Bidvest Wits 5/10
Draw 11/4
Chippa United 5/1
(19:30) 

The fixtures keep coming thick and fast for the Clever Boys who have three league games in hand. Ahead of this match they have an Absa Premiership date with Highlands Park and it will be interesting to see if it doesn’t result in any suspensions or injuries. Chippa United will be without Sandile Mthethwa who got sent off in their 3-0 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns. The Chilli Boys are two points above the drop zone and I think they might welcome an exit at this stage. Wits should emerge victorious here.

TREBLE @ 4/1
Maritzburg United Win 23/10
Mamelodi Sundowns Win 1/20
Bidvest Wits Win 5/10

Written by Benedict Ngwenya