Who will win the Telkom Knockout?
Cape Town - The
people who most enjoy cup finals are the ones who aren't, in any way shape
or form, affected by the result.
These include neutrals, your girlfriend
who hates any type of sports, and infants who don't have the neurologic
capabilities to comprehend the game of soccer.
Others like supporters, owners,
coaching staff, and players of the team involved will have a nerve-wracking 90
minutes (or 120 minutes+) to contend with.
Telkom Knockout will reach its climax on Saturday evening when
Bidvest Wits take on Bloemfontein Celtics at the Princess Magogo
Absa Premiership champions Bidvest Wits have an opportunity to, at least, grab
one trophy this season as their prospects of retaining their league title look
unlikely. Bloemfontein Celtic have the chance to win a long overdue cup to add
to their cobweb infested trophy cabinet. Who will be lifting the Telkom Knockout
trophy come Saturday night?
Bidvest Wits are at the bottom of the Absa Premiership table with nine
points. They have scored just six goals (2nd lowest in the league) and
have conceded 15 goals (highest in the
the Telkom Knockout, however, the form of Gavin Hunt's men has been the
complete opposite. Wits have let in only two goals and have scored six in their three games in the tournament.
Not only that, but you could argue that Wits have had the tougher journey to the
final, where they’ve played solid mid-table team Free State Stars, log leaders
Baroka FC, and Kaizer Chiefs.
coach Veselin Jelusic, Bloemfontein Celtic have
been performing reasonably well this season. Sitting 8th on the table, Celtic
are far better than the team they were last season, where they were only one
point away from finishing in the relegation/promotion playoffs.
Jelusic's football isn't glamorous, some may
call it pragmatic (*cough* boring) and I have spent a few afternoon's dozing
off in front of the TV whilst Bloemfontein Celtic
was playing. Despite all this, Jelusic has been getting the job
Bloemfontein Celtic last 10 games
(60% win rate)
Bidvest Wits last 10 games
(50% win rate)
Prediction: Bidvest Wits to lift the trophy 5/10
Given their record in
this season's Telkom Knockout and their history in cup competitions Bidvest Wits are still the betting
favourites at 1.10,
with Celtic trading at 2.90 at BET.co.za.
feel both teams have a fair chance to win this game because they aren't
prolific scorers. One moment of magic or pure luck can break the deadlock and
the team with the lead should go on to take the title.
On October 1, Celtic beat Wits by a goal to nil in the league so they may
have the psychological edge. Celtic don't offer much going forward but are
tough at the back, where captain Wandisile Letlabika's main duty is to make
crucial tackles and to hurt people.
Wits have been in a cup final more recently than Celtic and their experience
will be an advantage. Don't make plans for later because this game may go the
whole way to extra-time and even maybe penalties. My crystal ball, though, tells
me Bidvest Wits will be victors.