Sundowns legend John Tlale opens up about his Telkom Knockout favourites

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The Masandawana legend believes this season's tournament will produce shocks

Former Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper John Tlale has tipped Kaizer Chiefs, Masandawana and Orlando Pirates to do well in this season's Telkom Knockout competition which gets underway this weekend.

The 1996 Africa Cup of Nations winner also predicts that Bidvest Wits will do well in their attempts to their defend their TKO trophy.

“I think Bidvest Wits will beat Free State Stars, I know they will face their hoodoo team, but Wits are doing well so far and are a free scoring side,” Tlale told Goal.

“Wits will have an upper hand in this one. I think we can expect more upsets in the competition because it's everyone's trophy,” he noted.

“You see the so-called small teams will find motivation in meeting the big guns and that is a huge boost for them. I also think Polokwane City will upset SuperSport United at home. SuperSport are still reeling in shock after losing the MTN8 Cup whilst Polokwane is doing very well,” predicted the former keeper.

“On the other hand, Benni McCarthy will get a win over AmaZulu, and will want to challenge for his second trophy as a coach,” he backed.

“I'm happy for him because he is showing that he is experienced, he won his first one and will be hungry this time around,” Tlale said.

Speaking about the likes of Amakhosi who will meet Black Leopards on Sunday and the Buccaneers who will be at at home against Chippa United on Saturday, the Kroonstad-born keeper believes they are under pressure to reach the final.

“I think all the big three teams are under pressure and have always been when it comes to expectations from their fans,” continued the former Roses United mentor.

“It's going to be a difficult tournament for Sundowns because they are still trying to adjust to life without Percy Tau and Khama Billiat, but they are coming in nicely,” he reacted.

“Sadly for them there is no Vila (Sibusiso Vilakazi) who is out for the rest of the season and Bloemfontein Celtic will not be easy, but they will do well and reach the final,” Tlale revealed.

“Coming to Chiefs, they are a well oiled machine under their new coach and will want to lift this one and there is pressure from their supporters,” said the retired keeper.

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“I am sure they will also want to reach the final. I think for Pirates, they are starting at home and they will enjoy massive support to boost them against Chippa United. They will also want to go far in the tournament as they are starting to gel,” said the 51-year-old.

“For me, Chiefs will reach the final and I would like to give Sundowns a chance to meet them in the final, it will be a repeat of 2015,” he concluded.

 

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