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Kaizer Chiefs v Cape Town City

Ernst Middendorp or Benni McCarthy? Who has Cup pedigree?

5:22 PM GMT 28/03/2019
Ernst Middendorp, Kaizer Chiefs, January 2019
Amakhosi are desperate for a trophy this season, but does Middendorp have what it takes to outsmart the impressive Citizens

Kaizer Chiefs are a club known historically for possessing Cup pedigree as they are still the most successful team in the country, but the Soweto giants are enduring a barren patch.

While Cape Town City are quickly making a name for themselves in domestic circles, and their coach Benni McCarthy too is witnessing his value rise with every game that passes.

Chiefs though are experiencing a goal drought and are hoping that the decision to bring back Ernst Middendorp – someone who has previously tasted glory at Amakhosi, proves to be a masterstroke.

In his initial stint at Naturena, Middendorp won the Absa Cup and SAA Supa 8 competitions, but aside from those accolades, the experienced coach does not have much to boast about in terms of trophy success in South African football.

On reflection though, Middendorp is certainly a man of stability as he enjoyed above average Cup runs in the past.

But when compared to McCarthy, it appears that the former Uefa Champions League winner has already developed Cup pedigree in only his second season in the PSL.

McCarthy has already reached two finals so far, winning one which came in this year’s MTN8 competition and with City still in the Nedbank Cup, it will take a brave person to bet against the Citizens not reaching another final.

McCarthy has shown great ambition, hunger and passion, and these are the characteristics needed for any club to taste success in Cup games.

Meanwhile, Middendorp’s approach is more pragmatic and calculated which is not always suited to knockout games as a moment of magic could be the difference between victory or elimination.

It’s a very fine line, and McCarthy seems to have a little advantage heading into the game.

His players are known to give a little bit extra, especially in big games, while Chiefs, on the other hand, may count themselves as rather fortuitous to be a part of the last eight considering the difficulties they experienced against the likes of Tornado FC and Magic FC.

Chiefs though have shown an ability to win 'ugly' under Middendorp which does bode well for them especially as City have some weaknesses at the back.

Nonetheless, while the odds do favour McCarthy in terms of what he has achieved in such a short space of time, there isn’t a lot to separate the two teams as Chiefs’ German mentor has the experience and organisational ability to mastermind a win.

This makes for a tightly contested affair which could go in anyway, it all depends on whichever club wants victory more.