Nedbank Cup Semi-Finals Preview and Predictions
By Carl Lewis
Diski returns to action South Africa on Saturday with Nedbank Cup action. It is the first real competitive sporting action in the country since the outbreak of Covid-19.
To kick things off is Brakoa and Bloemfontein Celtic, both are struggling in the league but this is a huge opportunity for both clubs to get into a cup final. The second of the semi-finals is the big one, as Sundowns look to win every domestic trophy on offer and Wits are in the last stretch of their life as a club.
We preview each semi-final of the Nedbank Cup.
14:00 – Baroka FC v Bloemfontein Celtic
Baroka are 13th in the league and are definitely in a relegation scrap but this cup match could be a distraction or a catalyst for a late resurgence in the league. It’s the two sides first match in months so it will be hard to predict. Baroka made their way into the semi’s after 1-0 win over Black Leopards – they beat Hungry Lions on penalties and Polokwane City 1-0 before that. So we could expect a low scoring affair if were to go with history. In the league, Baroka have also lost 4 of their last 5 matches.
Bloemfontein Celtic lost Lehlohonolo Seema but this remains a great chance for Celtic to make into a cup final. Celtic beat Amazulu (4-1) and then Maritzburg (3-2) before having to see off TS Sporting via penalties in the quarter-finals to reach this stage. You would have to back Celtic in this one despite their league struggles before lockdown, despite them losing 4 of their last 5 matches. In the two sides last head to head match, Celtic won 2-1.
Best Bet: Celtic to win at 2.05
19:00 – Sundowns v Bidvest Wits
The most high profile of the two semi-finals on offer in the Nedbank Cup. Pitso Mosimane’s Sundowns are still on course for a domestic treble this season and they stand a good chance of winning the last two remaining trophies, the league and Nedbank Cup. Before lockdown, Sundowns were on a 4 match winning streak and were breathing down Kaizer Chief’s neck in the league race.
Assistant coach Rulani Mokwena has also made his return to the Sundowns technical team after stints with Orlando Pirates and Chippa United. After months of inaction, it will be interesting to see the conditioning of payers. Downs will be without the creativity of Gaston Sirion, he is suspended but they should edge Wits considering the depth fo their squad.
Where to start with Bidvest Wits? Without any action of the field, they have been the biggest talking point after selling their PSL status to TTM. Players have already been sold and head coach Gavin Hunt will not be at the helm… the club is being completely disbanded. Before lockdown, they have also endured a mixed bag of results. Their previous head to head in January ended in a draw
Best Bet: Sundowns to win at 1.76