Key battles between SuperSport United and Platinum Stars
Posted: 28 November 2014 Time: 11:35
KickOff.com takes a closer look at four key battles that could determine the outcome of the Telkom Knockout Final between SuperSport United and Platinum Stars on Saturday at Orlando Stadium.
The North West side will look to defend the title they won in the past season, while the Tshwane side is looking for early success under Gordon Igesund, who has been in charge since September.
Rodgers vs Daniels
Buoyed by his hattrick in Platinum Stars’ 4-2 victory over AmaZulu last weekend, Rodgers will be a marked man and will have to get past Daniels and company. The battle, which extends to an aerial duel, between the two Cape Town boys will definitely be one to look out for; with Rodgers expected to lead from the front while Daniels, as captain, will lead Matsatsantsa a Pitori from the back. Rodgers has found the back of the net four times in six starts, plus two substitute appearances for Dikwena this season. On the other hand, SuperSport United have kept five clean sheets in the 12 matches that Daniels has played, conceding 13 goals when he featured.
Phala vs Mpeta
As is often stated, winger vs fullback is a classic football battle and this one is no exception. Phala, formerly with Platinum Stars, has started every match for SuperSport United this season scoring two goals and contributing five assists in all competitions. However, Mpeta has also started all 16 games for Dikwena and the recent call-up to the Bafana Bafana squad that played Sudan and Nigeria in Afcon qualifiers may have done his confidence a lot of good. Plus, Platinum Stars have kept three clean sheets leading up to the Final.There is no doubt that Phala’s pace will be a weapon that Gordon Igesund uses in trying to give the opposition defence headaches and that means Mpeta will be faced with watching his back every time he moves up to attack.
Ng’ambi vs Morton
So crucial is Michael Morton’s role at SuperSport United that he was rested when Gordon Igesund’s men lost 2-1 to Orlando Pirates on November 23, because he was sitting on three yellow cards and a fourth may have ruled him out of the final. The 25-year-old has been a regular starter for SuperSport United since arriving from Maritzburg United at the beginning of the season with 11 appearances out of 16 matches. Although Robert Ng’ambi is yet to score this season his effective play can never be undermined and Morton will surely have to monitor the Malawian international’s late runs into the box.
Mathebula vs Madubanya
David Mathebula and Letladi Madubanya both have a fair share of topflight experience having made their PSL debuts in 2002/03 and 2005/06 respectively. Madubanya, with 12 appearances this season, will rely on his combative play while DVD will have to be at his creative best to get the better of the likes of Madubanya in central midfield. If Madubanya can neutralise Mathebula then half the battle is won as the diminutive former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder is the creative vein that pumps life into the SuperSport attack.