Pretoria - Having come close in the past, newly-appointed SuperSport United skipper Bevan Fransman says he is hopeful of another successful run in the MTN8 knockout competition.
Fransman, who joined the Pretoria outfit last year, was one of his side's key members during last season's competition, when United were beaten in the final by Moroka Swallows.
"A cup game is different, but we're going to play with the same attitude and the same mentality.
"We don't have to change much from the last season," Fransman said on Tuesday.
"Hopefully we can reach the final and finally lift the trophy this time and not fall at the last hurdle."
Matsatsantsa face a tough opening fixture this season. They were drawn to face Orlando Pirates, who were looking to reclaim the trophy they won in 2011, en route to winning the Premiership and Nedbank Cup titles in the same season.
Last year, United eased past the Buccaneers 3-0 in their second leg semi-final clash, having ended in a goalless draw in the first leg.
"I'm not going to read anything into last year's results, it doesn't matter now," Fransman said.
"They beat us in the league so it kind of evens out.
"Not much has changed. There is a slight change in our style of play, but it's still SuperSport."
United head into the fixture on the back of a comfortable 4-1 Premiership win over Free State Stars at the weekend, while Pirates did the unthinkable by thumping Egyptian giants Al-Ahly 3-0 in the Caf Champions League.
United would have the advantage of not playing a mid-week game while Pirates have to play catch-up in the league, hosting AmaZulu in their opening encounter on Thursday.
"On the one hand, yes, it is an advantage but, on the other hand, when you play against Orlando Pirates, it's like playing against the Barcelona of Spain," SuperSport coach Cavin Johnson said.
"I think their medical team will make sure whoever is available to play the game will be ready.
"If it's an advantage that I could use on the day, hopefully, I will use it to the fullest."