Mamelodi Sundowns kickoff their Nedbank Cup campaign with a Round of 32 encounter against Richards Bay at Loftus Versfeld.
The Brazilians are the Nedbank Cup defending champions and are now gunning for a seventh title.
Despite dominating the PSL in recent years, Sundowns are still far behind Kaizer Chiefs who are the most successful team in this competition with 13 titles.
But they are closer to Orlando Pirates who have won it eight times before.
Now, they face the now face the challenge of Richards Bay in their bid to enter the Nedbank Cup history books.
Their opponents have never won it but they have been one of the best-performing teams in the Premier Soccer League this season.
If Masandawana transfer their league form into the Nedbank Cup, the Natal Rich Boyz would be in for a tough evening.
After missing out on the MTN8, Sundowns still have the chance to end the season with a treble if they bag the Nedbank Cup, PSL title and the Caf Champions League crown.
Richards Bay will be playing to win their first-ever piece of silverware in the top-flight league.
|Game||Mamelodi Sundowns vs Richards Bay|
|Date||Tuesday, February 7|
|Time||19:30 SA Time|
TV Channel, Live Score & How To Watch
|Online Streaming||TV Channel|
|DStv.com/DStv Now App||SuperSport TV's PSL channel 202|
Squads & Team NewsBackpage
Masandawana will still be missing attacking midfielder Marcelo Allende who is serving his last match of suspension after being red-carded against Sekhukhune United which saw him miss the Pirates match last weekend.
As has always been the case, Sundowns have a long list of players battling fitness issues like Rushine de Reuck, Rivaldo Coetzee, Thabiso Kutumela, Lebihang Maboe, Haashim Domingo, Abubeker Nasir, Erwin Saavedra as well as Terrence Mashego and Abdel Boutouil who are nursing long-term injuries.
Such situations have never negatively affected their performance and coach Mokwena is still likely to field a second-string side.Backpagepix
Richards Bay co-coach Vasili Manousakis and Simo Dladla are not worried about suspensions in their camp.
That boosts their selection base as all their key players are available for Tuesday’s match.
While Richards Bay are in the top three in the league campaign, they have hit a rough patch of late.
They have won just once in their last five games, losing two other matches and drawing as many.
Sundowns would be hoping that run of form saps the morale out of the Natal Rich Boyz camp.
But the KwaZulu-Natal side’s most famous story on the Nedbank Cup was knocking Kaizer Chiefs out in 2021 when they were still a National First Division team.
Last season, it was Masandawana who eliminated Richards Bay from this competition following a big 4-0 win.
The last time the two sides met was in a league match on January 6 with Sundowns winning 2-0 away.