Mamelodi Sundowns are set to come up against Cape Town City for the eighth time on Wednesday evening, and it is slowly becoming one of the most exciting fixtures to look forward to on the South African football calendar.
But why is this, and what sets this fixture apart from the rest?
For one, Cape Town City have been a club determined to change South African football’ status quo.
This perhaps has seen the Citizens approach the challenge against Sundowns much differently to their counterparts.
Generally, when club’s visit the Tshwane giant’s their reputation precedes them, and the opposition set themselves out to defend and pounce on Sundowns’ own lapses in concentration.
City though, are the exception. Perhaps this is a testimony to the ambition of the club as they play without any fear and express themselves.
This has proven itself in their record against Sundowns having won four of their seven meetings.
Benni McCarthy is responsible for this bravery and determination. This undoubtedly makes for a formidable matchup and an exciting clash.
In addition, City have built a squad worthy of challenging Sundowns which only adds to the intrigue.
While Sundowns have immense depth and players that can slot right into any squad in the country, City also enjoys that luxury with a blend of exciting youngsters and experienced internationals.
The Mother City-based outfit have that X-factor which should thrill fans, in many ways, there are many similarities between City and Sundowns, and the fact that both clubs have been built on the idea of professionalism and being trendsetters also plays a role in such a budding rivalry.
City might hope to not only be Sundowns in future but may aim even higher.
Meanwhile, Sundowns emphasise the need to win and the fact that City have been amongst the top six or seven teams in the country since their inception has meant that the clash has always been one that has mattered.
However, the thing that sets this clash apart from showdowns such as Bidvest Wits v Sundowns which fans witnessed this past weekend, is that City can afford to play with no fear.
Unlike at Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Wits where the burden of expectations might weigh heavily on the team, at City – a club still in their infancy, expectations are not too high and this allows them to take the game to Sundowns.
On the other hand, Sundowns too enjoy the fact that City doesn’t sit back as they are inadvertently allowed to come out of their shell and play their usual passing game which certainly wins over the fans.