Sunday February 22
Platinum Stars v The Magic FC
The Magic FC, owned by former AmaZulu and Bafana striker George Dearnley, are part of the Old Mutual Academy in Cape Town, but have changed their name in the hope of attracting sponsors. The Safa league side can also help their cause by springing a surprise on Platinum Stars on Sunday, with the Phokeng side perhaps distracted by their struggles in the Absa Premiership.
PREDICTION: Platinum Stars 1 The Magic FC 0
Bloemfontein Celtic v Roses United
This Mangaung derby pits Celtic owner Max Tshabalala against the club he sold before buying Phunya Sele Sele, the Safa League’s Roses United. Roses FC are still basically seen as a feeder team for Celtic, and were even coached by Clinton Larsen before he joined Celtic under Tshabalala. It will be fascinating to see if players looking for a contract at a higher level are motivated enough that they can stun Celtic’s professionals.
PREDICTION: Celtic 3 Roses Utd 2
African Warriors v Maluti FET College
Maluti FET College produced arguably the greatest upset in Nedbank Cup history in 2013 when they stunned Orlando Pirates 4-1 in the last 32. Their coach, Morena Ramoreboli, ironically left to join African Warriors in December, and will now take on his former club. Warriors reached the quarterfinals of last year’s Nedbank Cup, losing to Maritzburg United. Maluti are currently rock bottom of the NFD, while Warriors are third from bottom, so this should be a tight affair.
PREDICTION: African Warriors 2 Maluti FET College 2 (Warriors to win on penalties)
Mainstay United v Ajax Cape Town
The Northern Cape’s Mainstay United were thrashed 8-3 by African Warriors in last year’s Nedbank Cup, and it might not get any easier for them this time around against Ajax Cape Town. Roger De Sa’s side contains the province’s brightest prospect, Kakamas and Bafana Bafana’s Rivaldo Coetzee, and the young defender and his team should cruise to an easy win at the GWK Stadium.
Wednesday February 25
University of Pretoria v Moroka Swallows
Two struggling sides look for some pleasant cup distraction as Swallows and Tuks face off in the Nedbank Cup last 32. Swallows are in serious relegation trouble, and their form has not improved since Fani Madida took over the reins from Zeca Marques in October. Tuks also saw their coach, Steve Barker, leave last year, and Tuks have done pretty well under Sammy Troughton, and are unbeaten since losing to Barker’s AmaZulu on December 2.
PREDICTION: Tuks 2 Swallows 0
SuperSport United v Polokwane City
The 2014 Telkom Knockout winners are eyeing a cup double this season, and couldn’t go into this game on more of a high after beating Kaizer Chiefs on Tuesday evening. Jeremy Brockie and Kingston Nkhatha have given Gordon Igesund a new frontline of real menace. Polokwane City have done superbly this season under Kosta Papic, but I can’t see them getting past SuperSport.
PREDICTION: SuperSport 3 Polokwane City 1