Telkom Knockout: Quarterfinal Preview

quarterfinal preview

Our football writer previews the Telkom Knockout quarterfinals which kick off on Saturday 3 November 2018.

The battle for the Telkom Knockout crown continues as the last eight teams in the tournament see action this weekend. Orlando Pirates visit AmaZulu at Durban’s iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night while Kaizer Chiefs host SuperSport United on the same venue the following day. In fact, KwaZulu-Natal will have three matches as Maritzburg United welcome Bidvest Wits to the Harry Gwala Stadium.

The only quarter-final clash taking place outside KZN is Baroka FC against Mamelodi Sundowns. Current form and quality will be key when it comes to making predictions and betting on these games. Let’s forecast the results.

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Saturday 3 November

Baroka 3/1 
Draw 2/1
Mamelodi Sundowns 1/1
This is a match between two teams with contrasting fortunes and that might suggest it’s an easy one to call. Baroka have only collected seven points in their 11 league games this season and that has seen them drop to 15th on the table. They beat a tired Golden Arrows side 2-0 at home to reach this stage of the competition in a match that had its kick-off postponed due to traffic problems caused by an horrific car accident on the N1.

Sundowns managed to beat embattled Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 to advance to the last eight. In their 12 games across all competitions this season, the Brazilians have only managed to score more than once in three games. They remain unbeaten in the league and they’re six points off the pace with three games in hand. The Brazilians should win this match.

AmaZulu 7/4 
Draw 2/1 
Orlando Pirates 16/10
AmaZulu are still rooted to the foot of the PSL table after getting docked six points by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee. Last week, they were thrashed 3-0 by Cape Town City away from home in the league but had beaten the same team 2-0 at home in the Last 16 of this competition. Usuthu remain unbeaten at King Zwelithini Stadium this season and it shall be interesting to see how they fare when utilising Moses Mabhida Stadium as their home ground.

Orlando Pirates head into this one off the back of a morale-boosting 2-1 victory over their crosstown rivals Kaizer Chiefs. The Buccaneers are unbeaten in their last eight games across all competitions with five of those ending in victories. Vincent Pule is in superb scoring form these days and his deadly nature manifested itself last week in the biggest fixture of our domestic league. The last time these sides met in a league match earlier this month it ended in a 1-1 draw with Justin Shonga missing a couple of sitters. My money is on Orlando Pirates.



Maritzburg United 19/10 
Draw 2/1 
Bidvest Wits 15/10
Maritzburg United have only won one league game this season and they’re placed third from the bottom on the standings. This tournament might be a distraction to their fight for survival. Yannick Zakri has started playing games but hasn’t really been the solution to their goalscoring problems and the team still lacks that extra bit of creativity in the final third. Knowing that Siphesihle Ndlovu is leaving for Sundowns in just over two months is also not helping their cause.

High-flying Bidvest Wits managed to maintain their lead at the top of the Absa Premiership table last Friday when they ground out a 1-0 win over newly-promoted Highlands Park. Keagan Ritchie’s set-piece delivery has been key for them in recent games. His left foot found Thulani Hlatshwayo’s head which nodded home the winner last time out, and, prior to that, he netted from a dead ball situation against Sundowns to salvage a 1-1 draw. Back the Clever Boys here at 15/10.

Sunday 4 November

Kaizer Chiefs 11/10 
Draw 2/1 
SuperSport United 11/4
Kaizer Chiefs are winless in their last three league games with two of those ending in defeats. Amakhosi also needed a penalty shoot-out against Black Leopards to progress to this stage of the Telkom Knockout. They also seek revenge as SuperSport United knocked them out of this season’s MTN8. Bradley Grobler’s superb scoring record against them and Orlando Pirates is well-documented and they will be hoping he is not available for selection. The last time they played, Khama Billiat and Leonardo Castro, who were doubtful for the Soweto derby, got substituted in the second half and remains to be seen if they’ll have enough time to recuperate for this clash.

SuperSport United have drawn their last three league games and they needed a penalty shoot-out to knock Polokwane City out of this very tournament. I’m expecting a slow-paced game between two sides who haven’t been convincing over the last couple of weeks. Chiefs will have the upper hand from the support base point of view as Durbanites love watching their team, hence why I’ll back them to just about get the better of Matsatsantsa. I foresee a Chiefs win in this encounter.

QUAD @ 26/1
Sundowns Win 1/1
Pirates Win 16/10
Wits Win 15/10
Chiefs Win 11/10

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