Matsatsantsa are slowly making their way up the Absa Premiership table following their CAF exploits, and are unbeaten in six league matches, having only lost one match – their opening fixture against Mamelodi Sundowns.
Since then, in all competitions, Tinkler’s men have played 16 matches in all competitions, losing just once – in the first-leg CAF Confederation Cup final – while recording seven wins and eight draws (which includes their penalty shootout loss to Bloemfontein Celtic in the Telkom Knockout), making them a tough team to beat.
Currently sitting in mid-table they’re only five points off title rivals Mamelodi Sundowns, with three games – and a possible nine points – in hand, having drawn 0-0 with Orlando Pirates midweek.
On the opposite spectrum, things have not been rosy in the Cape for McCarthy and his charges, who have recorded just one victory in their last eight games across all competitions. Spurning the opportunity to go top of the log by squandering their lead in a 4-2 loss to Maritzburg United last time out, City have 17 points, but have a game in hand over many of the teams above them in the standings.
On the bright side, City have only failed to score in just one of their last six games, yet over the same period have conceded 10 – a real cause for concern.
In Tinkler, the Citizens face their former head coach who has already thwarted them once this season, fighting back from a goal down to beat the Cape club on penalties in this year’s MTN8 final, exacting revenge after SuperSport lost last year’s Telkom Knockout final to his ex-team.
In the duo’s league meetings last season, they drew 1-1 just six days after the TKO final, yet SuperSport trounced their rivals 4-2 in the reverse fixture in Pretoria.
City have won just one away game since beating Bidvest Wits in their MTN8 semi-final clash in September, yet that win was their 2-0 ‘away’ win against Ajax Cape Town in their shared home stadium.
SuperSport’s last loss at home was in August, and they’ll no doubt look to preserve that impressive home record – despite playing at Mbombela Stadium – come Saturday afternoon.
Kick-off is at 15h30.