The encounter will be The Citizens and The Clever Boys' fifth meeting this season, since McCarthy took the reins in the Mother City, after previously meeting in the two-legged MTN8 semi-final last year.
It is a story of the student meeting the mentor, as the ex-Bafana Bafana striker comes up against his former Seven Stars coach in Gavin Hunt, and McCarthy admits he was instead hoping for a lower division opponent.
“I came here hoping for a nice, really tough opponent, you know, from the NFD or something at home, and then I get the shark [Hunt],” said McCarthy, jokingly.
“But, what can you do? That’s football for you. I think the boys won’t need much motivation because, when you play the league champions then, who needs motivation?
“I think we’ve proven in the beginning of the season … when I was probably the most scared I’ve ever been to face the coach that launched my career as a player, in my first match as a coach … We handled it well and we did pretty well then.
“I think that gave me a little bit of confidence now to just make sure we go into this encounter well prepared and do what we’ve got to do to get a result against Wits.”
Unbeaten in their three meetings so far, McCarthy refuses to undermine Hunt and hopes that by the time they meet in the cup, Wits will still be caught in the relegation battle and thus have their focus turned more towards the league.
“It’s just, getting them again in the league and then a week later getting them in the Nedbank, that is a bit frustrating,” he added.
“I think the past is the past, we don’t relive it. It’s a fantastic memory to have [having beaten them twice in three games] but now, again, I’m sure those boys will be psyched up and, obviously, Hunt’s made a couple of changes so Wits look much better, stronger.
“But hopefully, come Nedbank time, they’ll still be in this little mix that they are at the bottom, and maybe they won’t focus too much on the cup and try to focus more on the league.”