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STATS: Nedbank Cup Round of 16

It’s a strange thing to think, and even stranger to say out loud that a match between TS Galaxy and Baroka may be the highlight of the local football weekend. The teams are anchoring the top-flight table (15th and 16th as we write), and they only met just a week ago in a potential ‘relegation decider’, with Baroka winning 1-0 on the day to remain in touch with the rest of the teams. The two are tied on 17 points in the league, which remains a precarious position. Cup glory may turn out to be the closest route to any sort of happiness for the sides, although surviving relegation may also be seen as an achievement.

2 – Of the 19 teams with 17 or less points after 22 games, only two teams (2002/03 Black Leopards & 2015/16 Maritzburg) have finished above 15th in a 16-team PSL season.

It will be interesting to see if any of the coaches prioritise league survival over Cup progress. Neither side comes into this game in any kind of form – Baroka have one win in five since they knocked out Stellenbosch in the previous round, while their hosts have won one in four since their 1st knockout game. At this stage, a team needs just four wins in order to lift the Cup – something that is easier said than done. Given that they are at the bottom of the table, the pressure for victory may be on Baroka more than TS Galaxy.

3 – The furthest Baroka have ever gone in the Nedbank Cup is the semi-final stage, doing so in 2011, 2016 and 2020.

TS Galaxy will be buoyed by the fact that they carry one of the biggest scalps of the Nedbank Cup so far. The Rockets eliminated Kaizer Chiefs from the competition, but their reward is facing another top-flight opponent in the next round. They are one of four teams to face top-flight sides in each round, alongside Orlando Pirates, Royal AM & weekend opponents Baroka. Yet, they boast the experience to navigate these waters successfully.

1 – The furthest TS Galaxy have gone in the Nedbank Cup has been winning the Cup in 2019/20, beating Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 in the final.

This may be a one-off Cup tie, but it may have far reaching repercussions for the two sides directly staring relegation.

Saturday 12 March

Sinenkani v Tshakhuma

Eastern Cape amateurs Sinenkani have certainly lived up to their moniker (Sinenkani = we are stubborn) as they remain in the tournament at this stage. They beat 2018 champions Free State Stars in the last round & will be hoping to go one step further here.

1 – Tshakhuma have won just one of five games they have played in 2022 (D3 L1).

Platinum City Supersport Utd

Platinum City needed penalties to knock out Sekhukhune, but if he watched them in that tie, Kaitano Tembo would be aware of the threat that the GladAfrica side could pose. Yet, City have been far from spectacular particularly at home:

1 – City have won just one of their last 10 home games (D4 L5 since September last year)

Sunday

Summerfield Dynamos v Black Eagles

For the first time in the competition’s history there will be four ABC Motsepe League teams in the Nedbank Cup round of 16. Two of them clash on Sunday:

2 – Dynamos v Black Eagles is the only all-ABC Motsepe fixture at this stage.

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