City and SuperSport lock horns in a rematch of last year’s epic encounter at the very same battle ground – Moses Mabhida – on Saturday, with kick-off scheduled for 19h00.
City have vengeance on their minds
The Citizens will be fired up to avenge their penalty shootout defeat to SuperSport a year ago, that would have left a bitter taste in their mouths as they failed to make another cup final last season. This time they will also be eager to prove they did not deserve to fall short of glory and add to their maiden trophy which they picked up two seasons ago.
Benni is determined to get on the map
In his maiden run as a head coach, perhaps Benni McCarthy was a bit naïve going into last year’s final, with his own nerves rubbing off on the players in the dressing room. However, after getting through the campaign in promising fashion as they finished in fourth place, the former UEFA Champions League winner will go into this encounter more poised and instil that same self-belief that he possessed as a player into his charges.
Patosi’s brilliance can win a game
As far as individuals go, Ayanda Patosi is arguably one of the most gifted footballers in the Premier Soccer League, possessing creativity, intelligence and flawless technique, not to mention his dead-ball threat. His talent earned him a move straight to Europe from the ASD Academy back in 2011, before he returned to South Africa at the start of last season, certainly not because of a lack of football ability. He seems to have put his off-field troubles behind him this season, and if his brace against Orlando Pirates last week was any suggestion of what he is capable of, Matsatsantsa would be wary of allowing him too much time and space on the ball.
Flying Dutchman in goals
No one has been more pleased with the acquisition of goalkeeper Peter Leeuwenburgh than McCarthy, who lured the shot-stopper over to The Mother City from Dutch side Ajax Amsterdam in the recent transfer window. He might not have cracked it with The Lancers' first team, but the 24-year-old proved he is no fly-by-night as he saved two penalties to steer his side past Sundowns and into the final.
Citizens are one up this season
The Cape-based outfit have already beaten SuperSport this season, condemning them to a 2-0 defeat in their opening league encounter last month, which is certainly set to provide a psychological boost. The two sides are otherwise pretty evenly matched in terms of head-to-head records in cup finals, with City having won the 2016 Telkom Knockout final 2-1 before the Tshwane side took last year’s MTN8 crown.