Eric Tinkler’s men, who are fresh from a 0-0 draw with Orlando Pirates on Wednesday evening, were let down by their finishing in the last third and eventually had to settle for a point against their cross-city rivals, though Tinkler will put friendship aside when he comes up against his former employers as he looks to go all out for a win at home.
The CAF Confederation Cup finalists have only played a handful of matches this campaign and are looking to play catch up to the rest of the teams following their continental exploits and could narrow the gap to just two points on league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.
Matsatsantsa a Pitori are in 10th spot in the league standings with 14 points from seven games and have only lost one match which was a 2-0 defeat to their fellow Tshwane giants at the start of the season.
Since then, SuperSport have not lost a game, bagging four wins and two draws with their previous tie in Mbombela ending in a 1-0 win over Ajax Cape Town.
The home side have suffered a setback in their goalkeeping department. The club’s number one shot-stopper Ronwen Williams has been ruled out until next year February due to a shoulder injury. The Bafana Bafana goalkeeper missed his side’s last two league ties with Reyaad Pieterse deputizing for the 25-year-old in goals.
Aubrey Modiba and Morgan Gould have been key for Matsatsantsa in their last matches. Modiba has become a constant threat for the opposition with his pace down the left flank and currently tops his club’s scoring charts with four goals. Gould has delivered consistent performance week in and week out, keeping opposition defenders at bay and will once again be tasked with stopping the likes of Lehlohonolo Majoro from breaching the Matsatsantsa defence.
The Citizens on the other hand were found wanting in their previous match, losing 4-2 to Maritzburg United having led the match 1-0 at the break.
Benni McCarthy’s side have now gone three matches without registering a victory but did put up a brave fight against Golden Arrows, coming down from two goals to earn a 2-2 draw.
The Mother City outfit lie in sixth spot with 17 points from 12 league games and are out to return to the top of the table with a win over SuperSport, provided other results also favour them.
This will also be a case of revenge for McCarthy and his charges after they were beaten by Matsantsantsa in the final of the MTN8 competition two months ago.
Despite their recent struggles, the Gold and Blue Army have proven to be a force to be reckoned with since their inception, and Nelspruit will also be a familiar surrounding for some of the players who plied their trade for the now defunct Mpumalanga Black Aces. Shuaib Walters and Mpho Matsi who return to their former home will look to share some of the experiences with their teammates that could give them an edge once they tackle an inspired Matsatsantsa side.
The two sides have faced each other twice in the league since the Citizens’ establishment which was last season. SuperSport hold the advantage having recorded a 4-2 home victory over their opposition and a 1-1 draw away.