Absa Premiership

Early Christmas present awaits City or United

2016-12-04 06:15
Eric Tinkler (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - What happens when two in-form clubs meet?

The answer will be revealed at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday when high-riding SuperSport United take on Cape Town City in the final of the Telkom Knockout.

It is destined to be entertaining, exciting and full of drama, with the possibility of goals galore.

After ending last season with the Nedbank Cup trophy, United are looking to end the year with another trophy at the same venue where they won their last trophy.

But it won’t be easy against a resurgent City, who are so far the surprise package of the season.

There is no doubt that these sides have been in top form and it is not surprising that they are the ones contesting the R4 million prize money.

The bookmakers will have a difficult time naming their favourites as the game could go either way.

While Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Thabo Mnyamane have been outstanding for United, City captain Lebogang Manyama, a former United player, has also been at the top of his game for the Cape side.

Lehlohonolo Majoro also seems to be rediscovering his scoring form of late, having scored three times so far.

But it is the two coaches at the opposite dugouts who have been more impressive.

Not many gave Eric Tinkler a chance to survive at City after being dumped by Orlando Pirates during the off season.

However, the 46-year-old has done wonders for the Cape side and continues to surprise lovers of the game. He deserves the credit for a job well done.

City will go to the final as underdogs, but will fancy their chances, particularly after scoring 10 goals in three matches during their campaign. They netted two over Bloemfontein Celtic in the last 16 before taking four against Baroka FC in the quarterfinal and another four in the semifinal against Free State Stars.

Stuart Baxter, on the other side, will be aiming for his second trophy after the Nedbank Cup after he joined Matsatsantsa a Pitori early this year.

United are a marvel to watch under Baxter, who has instilled a sense of self-belief in the players.

They are unbeaten in 13 games in all competitions and seem unstoppable after initially struggling at the beginning of the season.

Their recent performances have generated a positive feeling ahead of the final.

United’s excellent display against Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns has given fans a reason to be optimistic, with the players all clearly hungry to add the Telkom Knockout winners’ medal to their collection.

United are sweating over the fitness of striker Jeremy Brockie, who fell victim to Thabo Matlaba’s vicious tackle in the semifinal.

The two sides are looking for an early Christmas present after what has been a long year so far.

Kickoff: 18:00.


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Friday, 19 January 2018
Wits v Bloemfontein Celtic, Bidvest Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 20 January 2018
Cape Town City FC v Ajax Cape Town, Cape Town Stadium 15:30
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