Mamelodi Sundowns and Cape Town City are gearing up to go head to head in the highly-anticipated MTN8 final clash at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Citizens have been confirmed as the home team in the final following the conclusion of the draw conducted by the Premier Soccer League (PSL) at an event held in Sandton.
Eric Tinkler’s side will head into this encounter after securing a thrilling 4-3 victory over Golden Arrows in their last match in the DStv Premiership on Saturday.
But City made their way into the final two of the competition following their comfortable 4-0 aggregate victory over Swallows FC in the two legged semi-final clash through a brace by Surprise Ralani and goals from Fagrie Lakay and Edmilson Dove, respectively.
Meanwhile, Sundowns will come into this game high in confidence after they sealed their place in the Caf Champions League group stages following their 4-2 aggregate win over Congolese outfit AS Maniema Union.
The Brazilians booked their place in the MTN8 final after they proved too strong for Golden Arrows after they defeated Abafana Bes’thende 4-1 on aggregate in their respective semi-final.
In the last meeting between the two sides, Sundowns cruised to a comfortable 3-0 thrashing of City at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on 5 June 2021 courtesy of a well taken free-kick by Lyle Lakay and a brace from Peter Shalulile.
The five meetings between Cape Town City and Mamelodi Sundowns:
Mamelodi Sundowns 3-0 Cape Town City – 5 June 2021
Cape Town City 0-2 Mamelodi Sundowns – 4 November 2020
Cape Town City 3-2 Mamelodi Sundowns – 17 August 2020
Mamelodi Sundowns 1-1 Cape Town City – 20 August 2019
Cape Town City 2-1 Mamelodi Sundowns – 5 March 2019
Recent history has Sundowns edging matters with two wins from their previous two encounters but beyond that, it is the Citizens who can be boosted by historic results with two wins and a draw.
The Sundowns camp is sweating on Gaston Sirino, who missed his side’s previous match.
“Gaston missed the previous game with flu, but we expect him to be back. Apart from the Lebo Maboe injury, we don’t have too many other major situations. [Mothobi] Mvala we still have to assess,” said co-coach Rhulani Mokwena.
Mokwena is vary wary of the threat posed by CTC FC.
“We expect a very difficult match against a very good side. When you speak of preparations and analysis, you look at two facets. The one is from a personnel perspective, and City probably have what I have say is the most complete side in terms of personnel,” he said.
“They have specialists in very position, and very good players. They are a team that wants to have a player like [Thato] Mokeke deeper, so he can initiate the build-up. He is extremely offensive and everything looks to start through him.
“Then you have [Surprise] Ralani, who for me is one of the best players in the league, and an on-form Fagrie Lakay.
“They are only second to Sundowns in relations of possession, second to SuperSport [United] in terms of efficiency on their transitions. They average seven players who create chances per match. They create the second highest number of chances in the league.”
Another major piece of history stands in Sundowns’ path. They haven’t lifted the MTN8 in well over a decade. 14 years ago Brent Carelse’s goal secured a 1-0 win over Orlando Pirates.
Cape Town City’s short history in the league has seen them become something of MTN8 specialists. They lost the 2017 edition but won it the next year and will be looking to add a second title to their names on Saturday.