The round of 16 of the Nedbank Cup will take place this weekend.
The first round of the competition certainly did not disappoint as we saw giants fall from grace with both Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates bowing out. Now, as the games continue into this next round, much is going to be expected.
Anella Bota from The Magic FC got in on the action and gave us his predictions on the following matches. Do you agree with his choices?
Match of the Week
Chippa United v Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (Nedbank Cup)
Match 3 Soccer 6 Pool 16 February S6 V3 P1
League Rankings: Chippa United 13th (Premier Soccer League) & Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila 8th (First Division)
Useful facts: This promises to be a true cup game, with lots of thrills and spills. Both teams play an enterprising brand of football that is easy on the eye and fans should get their money’s worth at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday. Chippa United will, of course, be the overwhelming favourites, if the manner in which they dispatched of Mamelodi Sundowns in the previous round is anything to go by. Clinton Larsen has brought a winning feeling to the side and the players will surely want things to continue this way for as long as possible. For their part, Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila started the National First Division campaign brilliantly and somewhat surprised a lot of onlookers, but have since taken their foot off the pedal and there is no better game than the one against a PSL opponent, in a cup competition, to show that they still have the fight in them. Whoever emerges victorious on the day, football will have been a winner too…
Anella Bota: Chippa United win
Witbank Spurs v Golden Arrows (Nedbank Cup)
Match 2 Soccer 6 Pool 16 February S6 V3 P1
League Rankings: Witbank Spurs 15th (National First Division) & Golden Arrows 10th (Premier Soccer League)
Useful facts: One does wonder how much value Witbank Spurs place on this fixture, seeing they lie in the relegation zone in the National First Division, with 10 games remaining. Would they rather do well in the cup competition and risk getting the drop, or will they put out a second-string team with their priorities on safety? Only time will tell, but what’s certain is that they will be coming up against a Golden Arrows side that is in good scoring form and will to make amends for their loss in their last league game, against SuperSport United. Interestingly, Abafana Bes’thende return to Mpumalanga, the same province where they faced their Last 32 opponents, Tjakastad JS, whom they put three unanswered goals past. Is it going to be déjà vu or do Spurs have something up their sleeve?
Anella Bota: Golden Arrows win
Bloemfontein Celtic v Richards Bay FC (Nedbank Cup)
Match 6 Soccer 6 Pool 16 February S6 V3 P1
League Rankings: Bloemfontein Celtic 5th (Premier Soccer League) & Richards Bay FC 5th (National First Division)
Useful facts: At face value, the fact that both teams sit in the fifth position is about the only thing common between them – after all, they campaign in different leagues. What’s more, Bloemfontein Celtic seem to have turned the corner in the league, after experiencing a dip in form for some time during and just after Steve Komphela’s reign. They beat Black Leopards 3-0 and then secured a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Baroka FC over the weekend. However, Richards Bay are not to be taken lightly, as they knocked out defending champions Free State Stars in the Last 32 of the competition, in Free State nogal. Lehlohonolo Seema’s charges will be out to do well where their neighbours fell short, while the motivation for the National First Division side is that they will claim to be the kings of this region, although from Durban if they manage to get the better of Celtic. For them, it is also a case of trying to hit two birds with one stone, as they also chase a play-offs spot in the league. Players will want to die with their boots on trying to impress and with an eye on winning the admiration of PSL clubs, so this should be an exciting game. Facing Siwelele at home, though, is not going to be easy, with their supporters now starting to show belief in the team once more after the well-documented struggles of earlier this season that threatened fan attendance.
Anella Bota: Richards Bay win