Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila FC and SuperSport United will get the new campaign underway on Saturday as the start of the 2021/21 season.
The “new kids” on the block – who enter the competition after purchasing the status of the now defunct Bidvest Wits – will at least have home ground advantage when the cup’s defending champions SuperSport United arrive.
SuperSport will be looking to Teboho Mokoena to win the midfield battle and set his side on their way to another final.
Orlando Pirates have not fared well in the MTN8 in recent times and face a daunting prospect of hosting Cape Town City.
The Bucs will be hoping to integrate the likes of Thulani Hlatshwayo, Deon Hotto, Terrence Dzvukamanja (all Bidvest Wits), Collins Makgaka (Baroka FC), Wayde Jooste (Highlands Park) into their system with speed. They face one of the form teams from last season’s “Bio Bubble” but City coach Jan Olde Riekerink will see his side run out onto the park without star forward Kermit Erasmus.
The experienced star was one of the many to be lured to Chloorkop where Pitso Mosimane’s seat has been taken by a pair of coaches. It is Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena who will take charge of defending league champions Sundowns.
They have a fresh new outfit after a staggering amount of arrivals during the shortened offseason. Joining Erasmus was Aubrey Modiba (SuperSport United), Gift Motupa (BidVest Wits), George Maluleka (Kaizer Chiefs), Grant Margeman (Ajax Cape Town), Lesedi Kapinga and Peter Shalulile (Highlands Park).
But Sundowns, for all their wealth, have just one victory in this competition and will be looking to breeze into the semi-finals past Celtic..
Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila FC vs SuperSport United
17 October, Thohoyandou Stadium at 3pm
Orlando Pirates vs Cape Town City
17 October, Orlando Stadium at 6pm
Kaizer Chiefs vs Maritzburg United
18 October, FNB Stadium at 3pm
Mamelodi Sundowns vs Bloemfontein Celtic
18 October Lucas Moripe Stadium at 6pm