Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns will begin their quest to win the Nedbank Cup for the first time in seven years when they host Thanda Royal Zulu at Loftus Stadium.
Read: Nedbank Cup important to Pitso
Sundowns have not tasted glory in South Africa’s National Cup since 2008 – the year in which Nedbank first became title sponsors. Last season they got as far as the quarterfinals before losing out to eventual champions Orlando Pirates.
The Brazilians will target the 2015 Nedbank Cup as a chance to add to their trophy cabinet, but coach Pitso Mosimane and his men will first have to get past Thanda Royal Zulu.
The teams have met in just one previous cup clash, a 2007/08 Telkom Knockout last 16 match that saw ‘Downs come out 3-1 victors. In addition, the Brazilians and Amabhubesi have met in six league matches from the latter’s three seasons in the PSL.
Overall, from seven matches, Sundowns have four wins compared to one for Thanda. All four of the Tshwane side’s victories have come at home, where they have a 100% record against Thanda.
Mosimane’s side come into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw away to St Michel of Seychelles in the CAF Champions League, and a 4-1 win over Moroka Swallows in the league.
Thanda, in contrast, suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Vasco da Gama this past weekend in National First Division action.
However, Amabhubesi did beat Baroka FC prior to that and have enjoyed a strong season to date, as they sit in third place on the NFD log, five points adrift of leaders Golden Arrows.
The KwaZulu-Natal side very nearly eliminated Orlando Pirates in the last 32 in 2014 (losing out on penalties after a thrilling 3-3 draw) and will aim to get it right this year against the mighty Brazilians.
Kick-off is at 17:30 on Saturday, 21 February 2015.