Our football pundit previews the Nedbank Cup last 32 clash between Bidvest Wits and Cape Town City which takes place on Wednesday 7 February 2018.
Two great clubs with contrasting fortunes this season do battle in a crunch Nedbank Cup clash! The Clever Boys are deep in relegation dogfight while The Citizens are in hot pursuit of the league title. These sides have already met on three occasions this season and that sparked rivalry between coach Benni McCarthy and the man who gave him his professional debut as a footballer back in 1995, Gavin Hunt. Will the pupil, once again, get the better of his master? Here’s my analysis.
Nedbank Cup | Wednesday 7 February | Bidvest Stadium, Gauteng | 19:30
To Win Match (90 Mins)
Bidvest Wits 13/10
Cape Town City 9/4
The Students spent most of the first half of this season rooted to the bottom of the standings but they are now just one spot above the relegation zone, thanks to a recent five-match unbeaten run. They are a quality side and they proved that they still have the ability to compete by winning the Telkom Knockout towards the end of last year.
Daylon Claasen who was roped in from German side, 1860 Munich, has been impressive over the last two games – being named Man-of-the-Match in both the 4-1 demolition of SuperSport United and the 1-all draw with Kaizer Chiefs. Wits now line up with two big strikers upfront, Lehlohonolo Majoro and James Keen who give them the aerial power which compliments the crossing abilites of players like Sifiso Hlanti and Sifiso Myeni.
New signings in the shape of Denis Weidlich and Edwin Gymah have added the much-needed stability at centre-back and captain Thulani Hlatshwayo has recently been playing as a right-back which has worked perfectly for the club. Hlatshwayo and Bongani Khumalo also add to the team’s aerial threat in set pieces.
Cape Town City
Cape Town City have won all three meetings with Bidvest Wits this season and Benni McCarthy has made it very clear that he understands his old coach’s tactics. Speaking of McCarthy, he is back from his two-match suspension after sitting out the games against Bloemfontein Celtic and Mamelodi Sundowns, however, The Citizens will be without Robyn Johannes who was sent off against The Brazilians.
The other player whose absence will be felt is Thabo “Kante” Nodada who underwent a series of stiches to his injured leg after being on the receiving end of a malicious tackle by Dennis Onyango. The team has parted company with former Inter Milan striker, Victor Obinna who hasn’t been convincing since joining the team at the start of the season.
Verdict: Cape Town City 9/4
Benni McCarthy knows that to beat his former coach you have to neutralise his wing play and avoid conceding set pieces in dangerous positions. Wits has a better squad on paper but I think they’re more focused on surviving relegation than trying to win this trophy. I foresee Cape Town City recording a fourth consecutive victory over Wits.