Nedbank Cup, Round of 32: Selected Matches Preview

Nedbank Cup trophy

The cup of dreams lived up to expectations last year as we saw TS Galaxy going all the way and lifting it, beating Kaizer Chiefs in final! This weekend, Amakhosi host embattled Royal Eagles, while Mamelodi Sundowns host SuperSport United in the weekend’s headline fixture. Here’s how the action is likely to unfold:


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Friday 7 February

Stellenbosch 24/10
Draw 2/1
Maritzburg United 12/10 
(20:00)

Stellenbosch have seen a massive turn around of fortunes in recent weeks, having won three of their last five games. That has seen them move out of the relegation zone and shoot up to 11th on the table. They have recently lost their key midfielder Nkanyiso Zungu to Orlando Pirates and striker Iqraam Rayners, who has already signed a pre-contract with SuperSport United, is sidelined by injury. Maritzburg United’s poor away record is well-documented, but they have enough quality to compete against Stellies, who must try out new combinations. Reaching the Telkom Knockout final should embolden them to give this competition a good go as well. I can’t separate these two teams hence I’ll tip a draw in regulation time.

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Saturday 8 February

Bloemfontein Celtic 1/1
Draw 22/10
AmaZulu 28/10 
(15:00)

Bloemfontein Celtic have been inconsistent this season and they have tried to address their defensive problems by acquiring the services of Justice Chabalala from Orlando Pirates. They face an AmaZulu side who finally returned to winning ways last week when they sunk bottom-placed Polokwane City 1-0. I foresee Usuthu fielding a weakened side due to their precarious position on the log which makes fighting for survival their priority. My money is on Celtic.

Kaizer Chiefs 1/7  
Draw 6/1 
Royal Eagles 16/1 
(18:00)

These are two teams with contrasting fortunes and I would be flabbergasted if Kaizer Chiefs don’t steamroll their way into the Last 16. Amakhosi top the elite league standings while Eagles are rooted to the foot of the second-tier table with relegation looming large. As much as Chiefs usually struggle against small teams, I think the gulf in class it too much for the visitors. I’m confident on Chiefs winning comfortably.

Mamelodi Sundowns 19/20  
Draw 22/10 
SuperSport United 28/10 
(20:15)

Mamelodi Sundowns dominate the Tshwane derby and that was the case when these two sides met earlier this year with the Brazilians triumphing 2-1. SuperSport will be looking to make amends for the defeat they suffered against Golden Arrows last week and they will be looking to maintain the “Cup Kings” tag as they’re known for rising to the occasion when it comes to knockout competitions. This is a game between the two teams who have won the first two trophies of the season with the hosts lifting the Telkom Knockout and the visitors having claimed the MTN8. This is a tricky one and I think it will be too tight hence I’m backing a share of the spoils.

Highlands Park 13/20 
Draw 24/10 
Uthongathi 9/2 
(20:15)

Highlands Park snapped a three-match losing streak when they beat Baroka 1-0 the last time out and they face a fearless Uthongathi side who are second on the NFD standings. The Cane Cutters have recently announced the signing of former Mamelodi Sundowns right-back Siyanda Zwane. He will link up with other experienced players like Issa Sarr, Philani Shange, goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare and Siyabonga Nomvethe. This game will be tighter that people think with Uthongathi slightly edging it.

DOUBLE @ 10/1
Bloem Celtic Win 1/1
Uthongathi Win 9/2

Written by Benedict Ngwenya