TFGSoccerClubwriter DYLAN APPOLIS takes a look at five players who could light up the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals over the weekend.
The Telkom Knockout quarter-final will get under way this weekend in five mouth-watering fixtures which will see Mamelodi Sundowns face off against Baroka at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in the opening game on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
While 2011 winners Orlando Pirates travel to the Moses Mabhida Stadium where they will take on a stubborn AmaZulu outfit at 6pm in the second fixture of the day.
Defending champions Bidvest Wits will be hoping to over come Maritzburg United at the Harry Gwala Stadium in the hope of reaching the next round of the competition as they wrap up the Saturday fixtures..
Meanwhile, the headline clash of the weekend sees three-time champions Kaizer Chiefs square off against SuperSport United at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in what is expected to be an entertaining encounter on Sunday with kick-off set for 3pm.
Deon Hotto (Bidvest Wits)
Since moving to Wits from Bloemfontein Celtic at the beginning of the campaign, the Namibian forward has adapted well to life at his new club and has already proved his worth by scoring twice while assisting a further five goals from 11 appearances in all competitions so far this campaign.
The 28-year-old could play a major role in helping the Clever Boys reach the next round of the competitions as they continue their bid to defend their Telkom Knockout title.
Vincent Pule (Orlando Pirates)
Since his arriving from Bidvest Wits in July, Pule has been an influential figure for the Buccaneers this season, helping them to obtain positive results with crucial goals and assists to his name. The 26-year-old has already racked up 12 appearances in all competitions while bagging five goals and two assists in the process.
The in-form attacker, who scored the winning goal against Bloemfontein Celtic which saw Wits clinch the title last season, will be itching to take to the field and inspire his side to another victory in the competition.
Pule said: ‘There is so much pressure in derby games because of the expectation of the fans, so to score in such a big game is very encouraging.
‘We now need to build on this result and that momentum, we need to keep winning and doing well for the fans.’
Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs)
The former Mamelodi Sundowns attacker has been in scintillating form for Amakhosi this season, and coach Giovanni Solinas has previously mentioned that Billiat doesn’t deserve to playing in the PSL but play abroad.
Having already scored six goals and assisted a further four from 14 appearances, Billiat was named the Player of the Month for September, Billiat will be eager to improve on this tally as they head into their quarter-final fixtures against SuperSport.
Billiat said: ‘We know it’s not easy, but I believe it’s not about the previous games or form, it’s what you do on the day as a team. We need to work very hard because we know that winning will bring confidence for the rest of the season.
‘This will bring smiles to millions of supporters’ faces and help build our confidence for the rest of the season.’
Aubrey Modiba (SuperSport United)
The 23-year-old has continued to grow at Matsatsantsa and has been a regular starter for the club this season. Modiba could play a staring role in helping his side qualify for the next round, having already scored two goals and claimed two assists from 13 appearances in all competitions.
His efforts this campaign has not gone unnoticed after he was recently called up to the Bafana Bafana squad by coach Stuart Baxter during their exploits in the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.
The versatile player said: ‘I think I’ve grown so much, my game has improved because I am learning a lot from the guys. I am understanding the game better and better, so it’s always great to be in the team and rub shoulders with those guys.’
Lebohang Maboe (Mamelodi Sundowns)
Sundowns signed Maboe on a long-term deal in August from the Team of Choice, and he has made a decent start to his tenure at Chloorkop and he has already found the back of the net on two occasions while creating one from 11 appearances for the Brazilians.
The Brazilians upcoming fixture will give Maboe a chance to further showcase his talent in a star studded Sundowns side as he continues to impress under coach Pitso Mosimane.
Maboe said: ‘Yes, definitely. I am looking to better the tally of goals I scored last season. I just want to help the team do good and help them win trophies.’
‘If I get into the right positions, I can score a lot of goals. That’s what I am getting to understand now and I am getting to get into those good scoring opportunities.’
Telkom Knockout quarter-final fixture:
Baroka vs Mamelodi Sundowns
AmaZulu vs Orlando Pirates
Maritzburg United vs Bidvest Wits
Kaizer Chiefs vs SuperSport United
Photo: Gallo Images