Kaizer Chiefs will be aiming to avoid what would be a huge Nedbank Cup upset when they play host to Royal Eagles in a Round of 32 clash in Soweto on Saturday. Kick off is at 18:00 SAST.
Amakhosi are overwhelming favourites with Chiefs sitting pretty at the top of the South African Premiership. Eagles are at the bottom of the GladAfrica Championship.
Chiefs have won 14 of their 19 league games this season to open up a comfortable gap atop South Africa’s premier division, but the Glamour Boys will be cautious knowing that they have come unstuck against lesser opposition in the past.
Defat to Baroka FC in 2011 still rings fresh in the memory while last season’s loss to TS Galaxy in the Nedbank Cup final will not be forgotten.
Ernst Middendorp is leaving no stone unturned as he prepares his team for this weekend’s clash.
“Regarding the cup game, it’s not different at all regarding the preparations for an Absa Premiership game,” Middendorp said.
“We are not really taking it easy, just because we are meeting a team that’s fighting to stay in the GladAfrica Championship. Definitely not.
“We have been very busy with it, to look at Royal Eagles’ last three games because, as everybody knows, they have introduced a number of players. The results are obviously coming. I saw them myself when they were playing against Ajax Cape Town in Pietermaritzburg,” he added.
Eagles have bigger fish to fry than advancing in the cup as they aim to keep their own status alive and although coach Phuti Mohafe has effectively written off the showdown, he is not willing to wave the white flag just yet.
“We are going to play against a team that is on fire. A team on the summit of the Premiership log and we are at the bottom of our log,” Mohafe said.
“We don’t want to go there and beat Chiefs while we forget what is happening in our league… Where our bread is. Yes, we want to survive, but we also want to go far as we can in the Nedbank Cup.” he concluded.