Absa Premiership

Igesund v Hunt in MTN8 Cup clash

2015-08-04 07:45
Gordon Igesund and Gavin Hunt (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bidvest Wits and SuperSport United will battle for a place in the semi-finals of the MTN8 when they meet for their opening match of the 2015/16 season.

Wits reached the semis of the MTN8 last season, eliminating Bloemfontein Celtic on penalties in the first round before falling 5-1 on aggregate to Orlando Pirates.

The Clever Boys went on to finish third in the league table, though they were well off the pace of runners-up Mamelodi Sundowns and champions Kaizer Chiefs.

For the new season, coach Gavin Hunt will want to see the Johannesburg side challenging for honours, and the MTN8 presents them with the perfect opportunity to make a statement of intent.

They have also done some good work in the transfer market, signing the likes of Elias Pelembe, Daine Klate and Nazeer Allie, while also managing to hold onto the services of Sibusiso Vilakazi.

SuperSport had a mixed season last term. They began by losing to Orlando Pirates in the quarterfinals of the MTN8 and soon parted ways with Cavin Johnson.

Gordon Igesund stepped in to take up the coaching reins and helped United claim their Telkom Knockout, but they then had mixed results in the league and finished a somewhat disappointing sixth.

Igesund will hope that his first full season in charge of Matsatsantsa gives him the chance to once again challenge for the PSL title, but winning the Top Eight Cup - as he did with Orlando Pirates way back in 2000 - would also be a welcome success.

In head-to-head stats, Wits and SuperSport have met in eight cup matches dating back to the early 1990s and Matsatsantsa have certainly enjoyed the rivalry: the Tshwane side has claimed five outright wins compared to zero for their Johannesburg counterparts, while three matches have been drawn. The three stalemates have all gone to penalties, with two wins for United and one for Wits.

The teams’ most recent cup meeting was just last season, with SuperSport defeating the Clever Boys 2-1 in Johannesburg in the quarterfinals of the Telkom Knockout, a competition they went on to win. In the league, meanwhile, Wits claimed a ‘double’ over United with 1-0 wins both home and away.

The fixture is set for Bidvest Stadium on Tuesday, August 4.

Kick-off is at 19:30.


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