The Nedbank Cup Round of 32 begins on Wednesday evening with three exciting clashes on offer.
In the pick of the midweek action, Bidvest Wits will again host Benni McCarthy’s Cape Town City at the Bidvest Stadium in Johannesburg. The clash promises to be an absorbing affair, with Gavin Hunt eager to get the better of his former player for the very first time in a competitive match.
However, when comparing both side’s form of late, all indications suggests that Wits would favour their chances. While the Students have struggled in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) this season, they have shown great resolve in their last few games as they are currently five games unbeaten. But it remains to be seen just how much their energy sapping encounter against Kaizer Chiefs has taken out of the Braamfontein-based outfit.
Nonetheless, the Citizens though should not be taken for granted. The ambitious Mother City-based outfit have built a competitive squad with a mix of youth and experience. McCarthy will once again rely on players such as Teko Modise, Lyle Lakay and Craig Martin, but with players missing such as Robyn Johannes suspended, the City mentor could be tempted to ring the changes perhaps giving Kwanda Mngonyama a welcome start.
McCarthy could also utilise the opportunity to bring in some of his younger players, considering that they have an all-important Caf Confederation Cup encounter on the horizon, and they may look to rotate his squad.
But despite City having other distractions, it should be noted that on paper they will be seen as favourites. While they currently sit in fifth position on the league table, they have only ever lost once to the Students since their inception and they will look to continue that record when the two sides meet on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, in the night’s other action AmaZulu have been given a potential banana skin against National First Division (NFD) outfit Mthatha Bucks . Usuthu go into the clash at the King Zwelithini Stadium as clear favourites after going on a run of five games without defeat, but with Bucks’ struggles in the second tier they might choose to either throw caution to the wind and go for broke as they look to salvage what they can out of a disappointing campaign or sacrifice the knockout competition in favour of NFD survival.
Lastly, another one of the NFD strugglers Ubuntu Cape Town will host Polokwane City . The NFD relegation threatened club will need to be at their very best as they look to tame one of the PSL’s hottest attacks. While Rise and Shine have struggled defensively, offensively they have been a delight to watch, and with the likes of top scorer Rodney Ramagalela and creative mastermind Jabulani Maluleke they could pose Ubuntu a few headaches.