Nedbank Cup Final

SuperSport United v Orlando Pirates | Saturday 24 June | Moses Mabhida Stadium | 20:15

To Win (90 minutes)
SuperSport 15/10
Draw 21/10
Pirates 18/10

To Lift Cup
SuperSport 15/20
Pirates 21/20

SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates will lock horns in the Nedbank Cup final on Saturday at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. This will be a repeat of last season’s final, in which Matsatsantsa beat the Soweto giants 3-2 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

The Tshwane giants will be hoping to defend their title, while the Bucs aim to salvage something from the disastrous season they have had.

It’s no surprise that SuperSport will head into the clash as favourites. They’re unbeaten in six meetings against Pirates with four wins, including a 6-1 thrashing in November which led to Muhsin Ertugral’s resignation.

SuperSport United

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter will lead SuperSport for one last time on Saturday and will hope to end his tenure at the club with a winner’s medal. Matsatsantsa finished fifth in the Absa Premiership this season and reached the Telkom Knockout Cup final, where they lost 2-1 to Cape Town City. SuperSport will be confident of successfully defending their title as they haven’t lost to Pirates in the last six meetings.

Matsatsantsa have met Pirates three times this season. They dished out a 6-1 thrashing in an Absa Premiership clash, before edging out the Bucs 1-0 in the Telkom Knockout Cup semi-final clash, both at the Mbombela Stadium. In their recent meeting, they played out a 1-1 draw at the Orlando Stadium.

SuperSport, the defending champions and four-time winners of the competition, defeated Royal Eagles and KwaDukuza United in the last 32 and last 16 respectively, before edging out Kaizer Chiefs in the quarter-finals, winning 5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 stalemate. Matsatsantsa booked their place in the final after beating Chippa United 4-2 penalties following a goalless draw.

SuperSport will be without defender Michael Boxall due to his Confederation Cup commitments with New Zealand. Boxall scored a brace in the 6-1 victory against Pirates in November. His fellow countryman Jeremy Brockie, who was overlooked for the national team, will spearhead the attack and look to continue his hot goalscoring form. Thabo Mnyamane has caused the Bucs many problems this season, scoring twice against the Soweto giants – including the winner in the Telkom Knockout Cup semi-final.

Orlando Pirates

Orlando Pirates finished outside the top eight for the first time in PSL history following their 2-1 final-day defeat to Golden Arrows at the Moses Mabhida Stadium – the same venue where the Nedbank Cup final will be staged.

Kjell Jonevret’s side finished 11th in the Absa Premiership with 33 points from 30 matches – five points shy of eighth-placed Arrows. Jonevret has huge pressure on his shoulders to end the club’s 80th anniversary season on a high. Pirates’ recent record against Matsatsantsa doesn’t bode well for their chances of lifting the Nedbank Cup trophy, but they’ll be desperate to end that hoodoo.

The Buccaneers, who have won the Nedbank Cup eight times and last lifted the trophy in 2014, beat ABC Motsepe side EC Bees, before overcoming fellow top-flight sides Free State Stars, Bloemfontein Celtic and Golden Arrows.

Without a doubt Tendai Ndoro has been Pirates’ best player this season. While the rest of the ‘stars’ have underperformed, Ndoro has had his best season in the Absa Premiership, scoring 12 goals. The Zimbabwean is clinical in front of goal, holds the ball up well, and his intelligent movement make him a key player for the Bucs.

Probable line-ups:

SuperSport: 4-2-3-1
Pieterse; Kekana, Daniels, Gould, Bhasera; Furman, Letsholonyane; Mokoena, Mnyamane, Modiba; Brockie.

Pirates: 4-4-2
Mabokgwane; Mobara, Gcaba, Nyauza, van Heerden; Sarr, Manyisa, Rakhale, Makola; Gabuza, Ndoro.

Prediction: SuperSport (15/10)
These teams will meet for the fourth time this season, with SuperSport aiming for a third victory against Pirates. I’m expecting a tight affair in Durban, but I’m backing Matsatsantsa to come out on top.

Chadley Nagel

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