Highlands tackle stubborn Leopards

Highlands Park will lock horns with Black Leopards in the 2019 Telkom Knockout Cup Round of 16 match at the Makhulong Stadium on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 3:00 pm CAT.

The Lions of the North saw their eight-match unbeaten run across all competitions come to an end when they lost 1-0 to SuperSport United in the 2019 MTN8 final earlier this month.

Highlands will be making their third appearance in this cup competition since telecommunications giants Telkom began sponsoring the tournament in 2006.

Rodney Ramagalela, the Highlands striker, has made it clear that they will treat their clash with Leopards like another cup final.

"You have to expect a team that will compete in each and every game because that is who we are as Highlands," Ramagalela said.

"We are going to treat every game as a cup final. We are still building and our focus is to make this team better.”

Meanwhile, Leopards are wounded as they were defeated 2-1 by Mamelodi Sundowns in an Absa Premiership clash which remains their last competitive match.

Lidoda Duvha have never won the Telkom Knockout Cup and they will be hoping make history by going all the way, and clinch it for the first time this year.

Thabo Matlaba, the Leopards right-back, has admitted that they are under pressure to win the Telkom Knockout Cup.

"There is pressure on us this season because of the way the club has recruited players on the transfer market," Matlaba said.

"We have to do everything possible to take this club to a higher level and to achieve that we must work hard to win things starting with the Telkom Knockout."

Highlands Park: PLAYERS TO WATCH

Thela Ngobeni: The experienced goalkeeper played an important role in helping Highlands reach the MTN8 final. Ngobeni will be eager to ensure his side enjoys another cup run.

Peter Shalulile: The prolific forward is the current top goalscorer in the Absa Premiership with six goals. Shalulile will be looking to score and help his side overcome Leopards.

Black Leopards: PLAYERS TO WATCH

Thabo Matlaba: The Leopards captain is one of the most experienced players in the current Lidoda Duvha team. Matlaba will be hoping to use his experience to help Leopards reach the next round.

Mwape Musonda: The lethal striker has returned to action for Leopards having scooped last season's Absa Premiership Golden Boot. Musonda has the ability to inspire Leopards to victory over Highlands.