A complete guide to this weekend’s Nedbank Cup action

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Nedbank Cup Trophy
  • Post published:March 9, 2018

The Nedbank Cup will serve up some thrilling action this weekend, writes DEAN WORKMAN. Here is a guide to help you navigate all the upcoming Nedbank Cup games.

The round of 16 will take place soon and will offer a break from the League actions across South Africa’s Premier Soccer League (PSL), National First Division (NFD) and the ABC Motsepe League.

Friday, 9 March 2018

AmaZulu vs Ubuntu Cape Town – King Zwelithini Stadium (20:00)

AmaZulu will take on second-tier side Ubuntu Cape Town at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Friday night.

Ubuntu Cape Town have earned the tag of this season’s ‘giant killers’ after they beat Polokwane City 3-2 after extra time in the round of 32.

The National First Division side will make the trip to Durban to try and repeat their giant-killing feats of the previous round.

Although Usuthu have been struggling in the PSL, a recent run of good form has given coach Cavin Johnson some hope as they continue their survival fight. The distraction of the Nedbank Cup will be a welcome break from the pressures of a relegation scrap.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Baroka vs Steenberg United – Peter Mokaba Stadium (15:30)

Baroka will take on ABC Motsepe League side Steenberg United at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Western Cape side are in the last 16 after a 3-1 win over Orbit College FC in the previous round. Mike Lukhubeni’s young outfit are also in promotion contention so the opportunity to test themselves against a team in the top flight will certainly inspire the third-tier team.

The PSL side from Limpopo will go into the match without Kgoloko Thobejane, who was sacked from his role as coach on Tuesday.

Free State Stars vs Chippa United – Goble Park Stadium (15:30)

Free State Stars and Chippa United will battle it out for a place in the Nedbank Cup quarter finals on Saturday. The game will be the first of two encounters between the two sides in a week as they will also clash in the PSL on 17 March.

Stars are in the last 16 after edging out NFD side Super Eagles after extra time, while Chippa eased to a 2-0 victory over Phiva Young Stars.

Stars have had a great season and currently sit third on the PSL log whereas Chippa are still in the midst of their relegation battle. This may affect the team’s selections and the focus of both Luc Eymael and Teboho Moloi.

Kaizer Chiefs vs Stellenbosch FC – Moses Mabhida Stadium (20:15)

Kaizer Chiefs travel to their ‘second home’, the Moses Mabhida stadium, to host Cape Town-based NFD side Stellenbosch United. This will be the second consecutive meeting of the two sides in this competition after Chiefs came out as 3-0 winners of their round-of-32 clash last season.

Steve Komphela’s men will welcome the opportunity to challenge for silverware after their Absa Premiership-title chase was derailed by rivals Orlando Pirates last week.

Steve Barker’s men may be sitting mid-table in the NFD, but they will certainly be up for what is undoubtedly their biggest game of the season.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Royal Eagles vs Maritzburg United – Princess Magogo Stadium (15:30)

In what is surely a rare occasion, both sides will be at their home stadium, the Harry Gwala Stadium  which the teams share, for their round-of-16 Nedbank Cup clash.

Due to the sides’ proximity, they will have surely met before in friendly games and know a lot about each other, which is not always the case when an NFD side meets a PSL one.

Maritzburg have enjoyed a good campaign in the league and will be hoping to go on a good cup run to add to this success.

Eagles, on the hand, have endured a difficult campaign which has been plagued by constant changes in the coaching department. The side have had four different coaches this season and current coach Roger Sikhakhane will be searching for a morale-boosting victory.

Bloemfontein Celtic vs Richards Bay – Dr Molemela Stadium (15:30)

Bloemfontein Celtic will host NFD side Richards Bay in Bloemfontein on Sunday.

Veselin Jelušić’s side have been impeccable at home this season, only losing two of their 14 PSL games at the Dr Molemela Stadium. Celtic are in this round following a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over SuperSport United after the teams could not be separated in normal time.

Jean Loscuito’s side were formed after the collapse of Thanda Royal Zulu and, while they are in the middle of a relegation scrap, the distraction of facing PSL opposition will be welcomed.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Mamelodi Sundowns vs EC Bees – Loftus Stadium (19:30)

In a true David vs Goliath match-up, Sundowns will host EC Bees in the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup.

Sundowns face a heavy schedule as they compete on various fronts with games in the PSL, CAF Champions League and the Nedbank Cup coming thick and fast.

Due to these commitments, Pitso Mosimane is expected to field a much-changed lineup against the Eastern Cape team in the ABC Motsepe League.

After a 3-1 victory against Mariveni United in the last round, the minnows will be hoping to complete the shock of the round. Downs, however, have a squad filled with top talent and should still ease to victory.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Cape Town City vs Orlando Pirates – Cape Town Stadium (19:30)

In what is the tie of the round, Cape Town City will host Orlando Pirates in the final fixture of the last 16.

City have fallen off the pace in the league and the opportunity to win a cup could revitalise their season.

Pirates, on the other hand, will still be on a high after last weekend’s derby victory over Chiefs. Milutin Sredojević’s men are still in with a chance of winning the league but the Nedbank Cup could offer a more realistic chance of picking up some silverware.

Pirates have enjoyed success in this competition recently, reaching the final in each of the last two seasons. However, they lost those games and will be hoping to go all the way this time.