The race for this season’s MTN8 top honours continues this weekend with Mamelodi Sundowns travelling to Golden Arrows at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Durban on Saturday in Durban on Saturday afternoon in the first semi-final, first leg.
The Brazilians, who have not won this tournament under its current name, will be looking to take a step towards the final while at the same time former champions Arrows will be looking to move closer to recapturing the trophy.
In the other match of the weekend, Cape Town City welcomes Swallows in what promises to be an exciting encounter at the Athlone Stadium in Cape Town with both teams looking to take the first round initiative.
Golden Arrows VS Mamelodi Sundowns
This will be the second meeting between these two sides in the MTN8 following the quarter-final clash in 2018 that saw Mamelodi Sundowns run out comfortable 2-0 winners.
Golden Arrows are appearing in the competition for the sixth time and their five previous showings have resulted in four quarter-final exits and the stunning trophy victory in 2009 where they defeated Ajax Cape Town 6-0 in the decider.
That remains the biggest ever margin of victory in a South African cup final and it is worth noting that current Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi was in charge of Golden Arrows for that MTN8 triumph and in all spent three-and-a-half years in charge of the team between January 2007 and July 2010.
He later returned for another spell from October 2012 to October 2013.
The other notable fact is that given their recent domestic success, Sundowns have never lifted the
MTN8 trophy in its current guise and their last win is all the way to 2007 when they also beat Orlando Pirates 1-0.
Pick: Sundowns Wins by 0.92 at BetXChange
Cape Town City VS Swallows
The meeting last season was the first time they ever met in any competition after Cape Town City were formed ahead of the 2016/17 season and Swallows FC returned to the top-flight in the 2020/21 campaign after five years in the GladAfrica Championship and ABC Motsepe League.
Cape Town City have appeared in every MTN8 competition since the club was formed in 2016 and they were beaten finalists in 2017 but returned to the final to lift the trophy the following year.
Since then the club has lost in the quarter-finals, but made it through to the semi-final this season with a 2-1 away victory at AmaZulu.
CT City coach Eric Tinkler was in charge of SuperSport United when they beat his current club in the 2017 MTN8 final.
The first meeting between the sides last season finished 3-2 in favour of Swallows with Ruzaigh Gamildien bagging a brace for The Birds and Mduduzi Mdantsane netting twice for City.
It was a feisty fixture, with a penalty for each side and both teams finishing the game with 10 men.
Kamiel Sait also netted for Swallows, which means all three of their goals were scored by Capetonians.
The return fixture in Cape Town finished 1-1 with Mdantsane again on target with another penalty, cancelling out an early goal for Kgaogelo Sekgota, who has since left Swallows for Kaizer Chiefs.
Pick: Cape Town City Wins by 1.35 at BetXChange