The Nedbank Cup has always been known for springing up exciting David versus Goliath affairs, and Saturday’s encounters are no different.
Chippa United, Golden Arrows and Bloemfontein Celtic will all be looking to avoid upsets, and with big guns such as SuperSport United, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns out of the tournament, there could be no better time to for these teams to get their hands on silverware.
Nonetheless, the last 16 action resumes on Saturday afternoon with Chippa United at home to National First Division (NFD) outfit Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.
The NFD side will be hoping to claim yet another top-flight scalp having previously shocked Polokwane City 2-1.
With experienced campaigners in their team such as former Kaizer Chiefs and Sundowns forward Edward Manqele, the club certainly have a point to prove against a rejuvenated Chippa.
The Chilli Boys have resurrected their campaign since the appointment of Clinton Larsen and are currently on a four-game unbeaten streak, this included a famous win over Pitso Mosimane’s side on their road to the last 16.
While Chippa are undoubtedly favourites, they will need to be wary of TTM’s free-scoring ways.
The away side go into the game fresh off a 4-4 draw with Ajax Cape Town which could have proved ideal preparation as they look to upset the applecart ahead of their Cup clash.
Meanwhile, in the day’s other 15:00 kick-off, Steve Komphela is set for a showdown with Shakes Mashaba as Golden Arrows take on Witbank Spurs.
The clash is expected to be one of the most intriguing of the last 16 round of the competition and Mashaba would love nothing more than to get one over a PSL outfit.
However, Spurs are hovering dangerously in the relegation zone, which could see Mashaba opt for NFD safety instead.
But no matter what Mashaba’s intentions are, the clash is destined to see Spurs put up a fight. Komphela though will almost certainly look to prove a hindrance as Arrows’ five-game unbeaten streak recently came to an abrupt end with defeat to SuperSport United, and the former Chiefs mentor will demand an immediate response from his troops.
Arrows though are no strangers coming up against lower division opposition in this year’s competition.
Arrows previously overcame Tjakastad Juniors 3-0 but it should be noted that Spurs are no pushovers having beaten Maritzburg United on penalties.
Lastly, in the day’s final bout, all eyes will be on the Free State province as Bloemfontein Celtic host Richards Bay.
The two sides are slowly becoming familiar Nedbank Cup foes having met in last season’s competition. Celtic were 3-0 victors on the day and will hope to repeat their showing as they continue to put their off-field issues aside and concentrate at the football at hand.
Richards Bay have already claimed one Free State scalp this season having overcome Free State Stars and this could potentially motivate them to go in search of victory.
Celtic, on the other hand, will rely on Tshegofatso Mabaso for goals.
The attacker has eight goals in the league and although he is yet to find the back of the net in the Cup, he is a player to watch and could stand in the way of the Richards Bay.
|Match Number||Fixture||Date||Venue||Kick-off Time||TV channel|
|1||Chippa United v Tshakhuma Madzivhadila||16/02||Nelson Mandela Stadium||15h00||SS4|
|2||Witbank Spurs v Golden Arrows||16/02||Atlantic Stadium||15h00||SABC1|
|3||Bloemfontein Celtic v Richards Bay||16/02||Free State Stadium||20h15||SS4 & SABC1|