It’s the famous knockout competition time for South African, the MTN8 is back this weekend. The competition features all the teams that finished in the top 8 on the log last season, and these teams go at each other to win this prestigious trophy. The 8 teams that feature in this season’s edition are Cape Town City FC, AmaZulu, Royal AM, Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, SuperSport United, Stellenbosch and the reigning champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
On Saturday it will be Cape Town City who will be kicking off the competition when they face AmaZulu in a game that’ll really prove to be testing for both teams. Cape Town City are looking to continue picking up their form following the 2-0 win over Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs in their last match. AmaZuu on the contrary have started the season very well, sitting 3rd on the DSTV Premiership log. This will really be a tight contest between these two sides since you can never rule any one of them out, but I see AmaZulu qualifying for the semis from these competitors.
Royal AM close off the day when they host Orlando Pirates at the Chartsworth Stadium. Saturday provides mouth-watering clashes between very top sides, and Royal AM have been a dangerous side since their inception. Their owner, Shawn Mkhize (famously, MaMkhize), has not been afraid to invest into her team and that has yielded fantastic results for them, the team finished at an impressive 3rd last season above Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs and have partly carried that form into this season sitting 4th with 3 wins. Orlando Pirates are in excellent form sitting 1st having just lost 1 out of 6 games in the league. I really would go for a draw if it was possible, but since there has to be a winner, it’ll be a close victory for the Buccaneers.
Sunday sees Stellenbosch welcome Kaizer Chiefs as the 3rd quarter-final kick-off. Stellies sold one of their vital players, attacker Ashley du Preez, to Kaizer Chiefs and now they could see him return to haunt the club. The Western Cape club are fresh off a 3-0 defaet to Sundowns, while Kaizer Chiefs most recently suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Cape Town City, and they both have 6 points from their opening 5 games in the league. With both teams struggling for form this season, and mostly Kaizer Chiefs just looking for a way to connect their new signings with head coach Arthur Zwane’s philosophies. That might be the advantage for Stellenbosch as they could benefit from the lack of chemistry between the Chiefs players, and so I would give Stellenbosch the win.
The last quarter-final match sees Sundowns take on rivals SuperSport United. Gavin Hunt’s team has been struggling for form this season and they find themselves 14th on the log with 5 points after 5 games. Their most recent match ended in a one-nil victory for them against Richards Bay, and so naturally the club will be looking to continue with that winning form and surprise The Brazilians in their quarter-final clash. These two sides will facing each other back-to-back in the cup game and a league game on the 2nd. Mamelodi Sundowns have been in scintillating form this season and sit 2nd on the log standings, however that form is not up to their relative standing as they’re used to going on long winning runs. Given the contrasting form of these 2 sides, it is fairly not unfair to see the reigning MTN 8 and DSTV Premiership champions as clear winners in this clash.