The Citizens in particular will look to grab the early ascendency or at least an away goal as they plot their way into the next round of the tournament. The clash is expected to test all of City’s resourcefulness as well as their mental ability.
The effect of fatigue can also not be downplayed as City were recently involved in a tight and intense affair against Bidvest Wits in the Nedbank Cup in midweek. It remains to be seen just how much the clash took out of the City players, but coach Benni McCarthy is expected to rotate his squad and perhaps even give some of his younger players a run out.
Although, not much is known about the one time Swazi Premier League Champions, they are not to be taken for granted. While City are currently fifth in the Premier Soccer League (PSL), Buffaloes are currently second in their respective league, scoring an impressive 33 goals in 20 games.
This could prove a test for the Mother City-based outfit who have only kept eight clean sheets in the league all season. It is also important to note that City have struggled in front of goal, but after bringing in several new acquisitions such as Masoud Juma and Bradley Ralani during the January transfer window, they will be expected to take over the goal scoring mantle.
However, a notable absentee from City’s Confederation Cup squad is Matthew Rusike. Due to the Zimbabwean’s deadline day signing, he was not able to be registered in time for the tournament’s early rounds. But despite Rusike’s absence, City have plenty of experience to call on. The likes of Robyn Johannes, Shuaib Walters and Teko Modise will be key in guiding what is very much a young side- with the average age being 26, through what is expected to be a feisty affair with so much on the line.
Nonetheless, City’s pace and creativity could also be key if they are to leave Swaziland with a positive result. Lyle Lakay and Ayanda Patosi currently lead the club’s assists charts in the league with three assists and their combination with Craig Martin could prove fruitful.
An important statistic that Buffaloes should also take note of is that they cannot take their eye off the ball throughout the full 90 minutes, especially in the final fifteen minutes. City certainly love a late goal as in the league the Mother City-based outfit have scored 40% of their goals in the final few minutes of the game, and Buffaloes will need to be wary if they are to tame an ambitious City.