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Nedbank Cup: Last 16 Preview

Ernst Middendorp - Head Coach of Maritzburg United

Just the eight fixtures to look forward to this weekend in the Nedbank Cup as 16 teams still have a shot of earning a piece of silverware to their cabinet. Current holders, Mamelodi Sundowns, have a stern test against Polokwane City in between a hectic CAF schedule. The highlight fixture of the round, though, will be in the City of Choice where Maritzburg United host Orlando Pirates. Could we see a few upsets in the Last 16 of the Nedbank Cup? Let’s find out what our writer has to say…

Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports

Friday 26 February

15/10 Cape Town All Stars | Draw 2/1 | Cape Town Spurs 18/10 (15:00)

We kick things off with a Cape derby as the All Stars face Spurs in Parow. The home side come into this encounter in decent form, enduring a four-game unbeaten run across all competitions, which include three successive clean sheets. Cape Town Spurs got through to the Last 16 of the Nedbank Cup after knocking out Baroka via a penalty shootout. With the form in their favour, I’m backing Cape Town All Stars to get the job done in 90 minutes.

9/2 Tshakhuma FC | 28/10 | Swallows FC 11/20 (18:00)

In one of the few all-top flight matches, Tshakhuma look to continue their decent run of form when they host draw-laden Swallows. The hosts knocked out cup kings, SuperSport United, then went on to win their two DStv Premiership matches that followed, keeping clean sheets in all of those ties. Swallows are still unbeaten this season, but some of their steam has died off, with the Dube Birds winning just one of their last six games across all competitions, drawing five times. This should be a cracking encounter, but I fancy Tshakhuma on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 12/10.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Saturday 27 February

26/10 Black Leopards | 22/10 | AmaZulu 19/20 (15:00)

In another all-top flight encounter, Black Leopards look to put their league form aside when they take on AmaZulu. Leopards have lost five in a row in the league, but managed to get through to the Last 16 of the Nedbank Cup after beating Jomo Cosmos 2-1. AmaZulu are unbeaten in eight games across all competitions, and fought hard to knock Golden Arrows out of the cup last round. Usuthu are on a rich vein of form and recently won in Limpopo – where they beat Baroka 2-0 in January. Get on AmaZulu here at 19/20!

9/2 Maritzburg United | 28/10 | Orlando Pirates 11/20 (18:00)

Maritzburg United look down for the count with the players not biding into Ernst Middendorp’s tactics. The Team of Choice did well to beat Sekhukhune United 2-1 in the Last 32 of the Nedbank Cup, but in the league, Maritzburg United have suffered four defeats in a row. Since their 2-0 defeat at Golden Arrows, Orlando Pirates have gone well over 380 minutes without conceding a goal across the league, Nedbank Cup and CAF Confederations Cup. With the defence finally performing as a unit, the Pirates attack should find a way past a leaky Maritzburg side. Back the visitors to leave KZN as quarter-finalists.

Sunday 28 February

14/10 Pretoria Callies | 2/1 | JDR Stars 19/10 (15:00)

GladAfrica Championship enthusiasts will be looking forward to this fixture as fifth-placed Pretoria Callies host promotion hopefuls, JDR Stars. The hosts are two points off their opponents in the league and have a game in hand, which could see them leapfrog into second spot. JDR Stars are unbeaten in five games across all competitions including a win in extra time against the University of Pretoria in the Last 32 of the Nedbank Cup. It’s tough to separate these two sides, so I’ll put my money on a draw.

21/10 TS Sporting | 2/1 | Richards Bay 13/10 (15:00)

TS Sporting will have a huge task on their hands when they host Richards Bay this Sunday. The KZN outfit famously knocked out Kaizer Chiefs in the last round of the Nedbank Cup and currently lead the standings in the GladAfrica Championship. Richards Bay are also unbeaten in 12 matches across all competitions, while TS Sporting are without a win in three games. The away win is a banker here.

5/2 Chippa United | 22/10 | Cape Town City 1/1 (18:00)

Chippa United are back in the Eastern Cape and welcome their provincial neighbours, Cape Town City, to the Nelson Mandela Bay this Sunday. The Chilli Boys are on a run of three consecutive draws, which includes a penalty shoot-out victory over Free State Stars in the last round of the Nedbank Cup. Cape Town City showed what they’re all about in the Last 32 of the Nedbank Cup, hammering Bloemfontein Celtic 4-0. Despite their winless run in the league, I fancy the visitors to advance to the quarter-finals in 90 minutes.

TREBLE @ 8/1

AmaZulu Win 19/20

Richards Bay Win 13/10

Cape Town City Win 1/1

Written by Jesse Nagel

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