Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: MTN8: Quarter-Finals Preview

MTN8: Quarter-Finals Preview

Themba Zwane and Njabulo Blom

South Africa’s most talked about cup competition plays as a curtain raiser to the start of the DStv Premiership as last season’s top eight teams prepare for battle in the quarter-finals of the MTN8. As we’ve seen over the past couple of years, the MTN8 trophy has divided opinion, with many fans, coaches and clubs not giving it the respect it deserves. This was the cup Orlando Pirates ended their trophy draught with and now the holders of the competition will have the chance to defend their crown when they meet Swallows in the opening game of the tournament. Elsewhere, Golden Arrows square off with SuperSport United on Saturday before the juggernaut tie between Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday. Lastly, Benni McCarthy and AmaZulu welcome Cape Town City to Durban’s iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium.

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Saturday 14 August

Orlando Pirates 17/20
Draw 22/10
Swallows FC 33/10

Orlando Pirates defend their MTN8 trophy with a tricky test against Swallows in the first round. After a disappointing campaign in the DStv Premiership last term, all eyes will be on the Buccaneers as they need to improve this term, or face drastic changes. To this day, many still argue that the MTN8 triumph is the reason Josef Zinnbauer is still employed by Orlando Pirates, so the German boss will be hoping to emulate the club’s success last season. Swallows had a surprising start to the campaign last term and will be hoping for something similar when they look to upset Pirates at the Orlando Stadium. Despite the Dube Birds being strong starters, I can’t see Pirates not winning this tie, especially with the help of Mandla Ncikazi in their coaching ranks.

Golden Arrows 13/10
Draw 2/1
SuperSport United 22/10

Lehlohonolo Seema will have a mountain to climb if he is to emulate the feat achieved by Mandla Ncikazi and guide the Durban-based side to be one of the most dominant forces in Mzansi. Seema’s move to Abafana Bes'thende certainly makes sense for all parties considering the brand of football the former Bloemfontein Celtic and Chippa United boss believes in. SuperSport United have been labelled as a cup team for the past couple of years, but, there’s something about this current crop of players under Kaitano Tembo that I personally have no belief in. Matsatsantsa have recently lost Grant Kekana to Mamelodi Sundowns, while Teboho Mokoena and Sipho Mbule look to be on their way out the exit door at United. For this tie, perhaps backing a draw in 90 minutes may be the best way to go.

Sunday 15 August

Mamelodi Sundowns 11/10
Draw 21/10
Kaizer Chiefs 5/2

As much as I am looking forward to this fixture, I might be looking forward to seeing Kaizer Chiefs in action a bit more. The Glamour Boys have Stuart Baxter in their coaching ranks, while also doing some of the best transfer business in the country, making some outstanding signings, most notably in the form of midfield pivot, Cole Alexander and Phathutshedzo Nange, while Amakhosi have also bulked up their defence with the signings of last season’s Defender of the Season, Njabulo Ngcobo, as well as Brandon Peterson in goals. Although they’ve also signed Keagan Dolly, the likes of Kgaogelo Sekgota and Given Thibedi excite me a bit more than the former Sundowns winger. After all that, one can only wonder if that is enough to reduce the gap between Chiefs and Sundowns for the season. In hope of extending their margin at the top, Downs acquired the services of Sifiso Ngobeni, whom I think is their best signing thus far. Adding to that, Masandawana also added Pavol Safranko, Divine Lunga, Neo Maema, Grant Kekana and Thabiso Kutumela. I’m a sucker for punishment, so I’ll be backing Chiefs to Win or Draw at 6/10.

AmaZulu 1/1
Draw 21/10
Cape Town City 28/10

Benni McCarthy welcomes his former employers, Cape Town City, to the Wembley of South Africa, being Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium. Usuthu come off the back of their best season ever, finishing second in the DStv Premiership and booking a ticket to their maiden CAF Champions League. Cape Town City had a disappointing campaign last term and looked to Eric Tinkler to pick up the pieces. Now, Tinkler will be hoping for more cup success on his return to the Cape after previously winning the Telkom Knockout Cup during his first spell at City. With everything in their favour, I still can’t look past AmaZulu here at even money.

QUAD @ 16/1
Orlando Pirates Win 17/20
Arrows vs SuperSport United Draw 2/1
Chiefs Win/Draw 6/10
AmaZulu Win 1/1

Written by Jesse Nagel