Benni McCarthy confident of masterminding Arrows downfall

Lamontville Gorden Arrows will renew their rivalry with AmaZulu FC in the Nedbank Cup Last 32 match at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 5:00 pm CAT.

Abafana Bes'thende are in good form at the moment having recorded their second successive DStv Premiership win when they brushed Orlando Pirates 2-0 on Tuesday.

Arrows, who are undefeated at home this season, are looking to reach the Nedbank Cup Last 16 for the first time since 2019 when they were eliminated in the quarter-finals by eventual champions, TS Galaxy.

Mandla Ncikazi, the Arrows head coach, was pleased with their performance against Pirates and he will look to Pule Mmodi when they face AmaZulu after the winger grabbed a brace against the Soweto giants.

"Performances are good, but we are a work in progress. However, I am proud to be a coach of such a good team,’’ Ncikazi said.

“I told him [Mmodi] not to give up on taking those shots, if you don’t play the lottery you can’t win it. So I encouraged him to keep on trying and today it worked for him and I am very proud of the young man.’’

Meanwhile, AmaZulu are now undefeated in their last five DStv Premiership matches after securing a 4-3 victory over Bloemfontein Celtic on Tuesday.

Usuthu, who have won their last three games, came close to winning the Nedbank Cup in 1987 when they were defeated in the final and they are yet to reach the Round of 16 since 2018.

Benni McCarthy, the AmaZulu head coach, is looking forward to the KwaZulu-Natal Derby and he is keen to ensure that they avenge their 2-0 defeat to Arrows in a league game in December 2020.

“It is always great when the two teams from one city are doing well," McCarthy said.

"Arrows are going to be up against a completely different AmaZulu team who fight till the end, and we won’t make it easy for them. We know they've got a lot of speed.

"They rely a lot on counterattack[ing] football, so it is something that we will work on before Saturday.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Golden Arrows

Sifiso Mlungwana: The South Africa under-23 international continues to impress as Arrows' first-choice goalkeeper having kept his fifth clean sheet of the season against Pirates. Mlungwana will be eager to play a key role in helping Arrows win at home.

Pule Mmodi: The 27-year-old winger has been a revelation in his debut season in the top flight league having been involved in four goals including a brace against Pirates. Mmodi will be confident of producing another Man of the Match performance.

AmaZulu

Tapelo Xoki: The lanky defender produced one of his best performances of the season as he inspired Usuthu to a win over Celtic by grabbing a brace including the winning goal. Nyongo will be looking to inspire Usuthu to their fourth successive win.

Augustine Mulenga: The Zambia international is one of the most creative players in the DStv Premiership having provided five assists and scored three goals. Mulenga will be keen to add to his tally of goals and inspire his side to a win in Clermont.