Mamelodi Sundowns go head-to-head with Marumo Gallants this Saturday 28th of May at Royal Bafokeng Stadium, in Rustenburg. The Nedbank Cup final will conclude football in South Africa for the 2021/22 season, and what a send off we have on our hands.
The defending champions take on DStv Premiership champions in an all-or-nothing clash of giant versus underdog, the Ke-Yona experience in all its glory.
To Win (90 mins)
Mamelodi Sundowns 5/10
Marumo Gallants 6/1
To Lift Cup
Mamelodi Sundowns 1/4
Marumo Gallants 5/2
Mamelodi Sundowns continue to enjoy huge success but have found the Nedbank Cup the toughest of the lot. Masandawa have won the cup four times in the past, with their most recent triumph being over a young Ajax Cape Town side in 2015.
Sundowns have lost just three fixtures in the DStv Premiership this season, showing utter dominance in many moments. Their final fixture of the season against Royal AM was postponed after heavy downpour in Kwa-Zulu Natal on Saturday the 21st of May. The fixture was quickly rescheduled by the Premier Soccer League, and Monday afternoon Sundowns still showed immense fight, winning 3-2 even though it was a null and void fixture for the champions.
Mamelodi Sundowns have had success with the possession game they have integrated over recent seasons, and you can expect them to work the ball out of the back, seeking a direct route through the middle on transitional play, as well as a good recycling of play when the wings are well defended.
Andile Jali is nominated for DStv Premiership Player of the Season, and there is no doubt objection to that. His presence in the middle of the park will be crucial to the success of Sundown, sifting the Nedbank Cup for the first time in over half a decade.
Sundowns put out a statement before the replaying of their league tie with Royal AM, stating that many players have come down with the flu. Dennis Onyango, Andile Jali, and Kermit Erasmus to name three of the 17 reported players. While the starting XI would be uncertain, we know the depth in squad that Sundowns possess.
Mamelodi Sundowns route to the final:
Round of 32: 4-0 vs Richards Bay
Round of 16: 6-0 vs Mathaithai FC
Quarter-Finals: 5-0 vs Summerfield Dynamos
Semi-Finals: 2-1 vs Royal AM
Marumo Gallants managed to hold their nerve in qualification of the Nedbnak Cup Final as they defeated Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) 1-0 in the semi-finals. The Nedbank Cup defending champions know what it takes to overcome giants, and Mamelodi Sundowns could just be another Goliath in their way.
Winning the Nedbank Cup last season earned Gallants qualification for the CAF Champions league, and that put a strain on the start of the season for the Limpopo-based side. Their DStv Premiership campaign was nothing to write home about, but avoiding relegation is an accomplishment in the grand scheme of things, finishing 10th with just seven wins this season.
There are no major accomplishments to write home about for Gallants this season, but successfully defending the Nedbank Cup is something that only a select few can boast of.
Bahlabane Ba Ntwa have not shown the greatest gameplan in their fixtures but relying on hard work and individual brilliance from Tshepo Gumede and Lehlohonolo Nonyane in defence, Miguel Timm and Celimpilo Ngema in midfield, Sede Junior Dion and Katlego Otladisa in attack.
However, Dan Malesela will be highly upset with Otladisa who was ill-disciplined last time out, receiving a red card in the semis for decent towards the referee, missing the final due to suspension. A major doubt for Marumo Gallants would be goalkeeper Washington Arubi after being subbed off late in the second half against Sekhukhune, but, on the other end of the pitch, after being subbed off in the 17th minute of the semi-final against TTM due to injury, key striker Dion made a 15-minute cameo against Sekhukhune in their final DStv Premiership fixture of the season.
Marumo Gallants route to the final:
Round of 32: 2-0 vs Santos
Round of 16: 1-1 (5-4 on penalties) vs Orlando Pirates
Quarter-Finals: 1-0 vs Baroka
Semi-Finals: 1-0 vs TTM
Mamelodi Sundowns (4-3-3)
Onyango; Lakay, Mandela, Kekana, Mudau; Maema, Jali, Morena; Shalulile, Zwane, Sirino.
Marumo Gallants (4-5-1)
Ndlovu; Mabotja, Nonyane, Gumede, Khiba; Khumalo, Timm, Ngema, Malongoane, Ndlondlo; Junior Dion.
Prediction: Mamelodi Sundowns Win (5/10)
Mamelodi Sundowns are the overwhelming favourites to lift the Nedbank Cup trophy, despite Marumo Gallants being the defending champions.
The possession of Sundowns will be overwhelming, and if Marumo Gallants aren’t able to sustain a good press high up the field, they will be broken down by the quality in tactics Sundowns possess.
Quick turnovers in the midfield battle for Gallants from Timm and Ngema to strike with Sundowns out of position is the only path to victory, but the win for Masandawa is inevitable within 90 minutes.