MATCHDAY: Advantage Benni, Wits To Lose Their Title?
MTN8 Preview - Cape Town City v Bidvest Wits
Cape Town City will be looking to avenge their MTN8 semi-final loss last season with a win against Bidvest Wits and they will feel confident of coming away with the result, having not lost to the reigning champions since the first leg defeat last season.
The newly founded Cape Town City squared off against the Clever Boys for the first time under their current name in the first leg of last season’s semi-final, losing the game 3-0. However, in the four meetings since then, City have won twice and drawn the other two.
Most notably, though, City ran away with a 1-0 win on 18 August in their first league match under Coach Benni McCarthy in what was considered an upset. Upon closer inspection, however, it becomes clear why the Citizens were able to come away with a well-earned victory.
Click through the images above to see the key stats from Cape Town City’s win over Bidvest Wits on matchday one of the Absa Premiership.
City took significantly fewer shots than the champions and had less possession of the ball, playing far less in the opposition’s half. However, their defensive display was incredible, with McCarthy employing a three-man defensive midfield trio, using Roland Putsche, Mpho Matsi and Thabo Nodada, with Lebogang Manyama occupying the wide positions in a free role. Lehlohonolo Majoro found the back of the net through a set play and, from there, there was no looking back.
McCarthy pulled off a typical “Mourinho-like” display, having played under Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho in his playing days, and played a highly pragmatic game, holding out for the three points – something which can be expected from today’s encounter, where City would take a win by any means necessary.
Shoaib Walters was key to the victory, having saved a penalty and put in a number of fine saves. However, McCarthy will be hoping that his team can avoid allowing Wits so many shots on target, so many corners and so much possession. Pragmatism can be highly effective, but often the best form of defence is an attack.
Gavin Hunt will undoubtedly be prepared for McCarthy’s game plan and, in today’s encounter, will defintely be going for the jugular from the outset.
Who do you think will win today’s game? Have your say in the comments section below.