Black Leopards are set to grab another win as they face Kaizer Chiefs in the Telkom Knockouts last-16 clash at FNB Stadium on Sunday, 21 October.
Kaizer Chiefs suffered a 1-0 home loss to Polokwane City and come into the game for a win.
The South African giants’ loss at home shortly before the international break and saw the displeasure on their fans’ faces.
The Soweto giants had an impressive run amassing 10 points from the twelve up before the shocking home loss.
The Telkom Knockout last-16 clash is billed for 3.30 CAT
Similarly, Leopards lost away from home to Golden Arrows in their last outing before the international break.
The Limpopo side have not fared well as they have lost 4 in their last five matches.
The Amakhosi have won a record 13 League Cup titles (three of them in the TKO era), though their last triumph was in the 2010/11 season.
Last season they got as far as the semifinals before losing 1-0 to eventual champions Bidvest Wits.
They come into the game on the back of a surprise 1-0 home to Polokwane City in their last outing before the international break.
Lidoda Duvha will be returning to the Telkom Knockout for the first time since 2012.
In the same year they were eliminated in the last 16 round by Orlando Pirates.
Kaizer Chiefs and Leopards have met in five previous cup matches, four of which have been won by the Soweto side.
However, the teams’ most recent cup game (and most recent meeting in any competition) was in the 2015 Nedbank Cup and saw Lidoda Duvha claim a surprise 2-1 win (as a lower division club) thanks to goals from Morgan Shivambu and Roggert Nyundu.
Overall, Chiefs and Leopards have met in 23 matches across all competitions since 2001/02.
The Amakhosi boast 13 wins compared to six for Lidoda Duvha, while just four matches have been drawn.
Chiefs’ line-up from their 1-0 loss to Polokwane on 6 October: Khune, Mphahlele, Ngezana, Booysen, Walusimbi, Maluleka, Ntshangase, Manyama (Ekstein 75′), Billiat, Zuma (Parker 81′), Moon (Paez 63′).
Leopards’ line-up from their 1-0 loss to Arrows on 7 October: Ndlovu, Nene, Munyai, Kapinga (Tshepe 66′), Munganga (Masia 14′), Mudau, Zulu, Nange, Sibanda, Musonda, Khutlang (Mhlongo 54′).
What the teams say:
Giovanni Solinas, Kaizer Chiefs coach:
“We have to respect Leopards,” said the Chiefs coach this week. “Myself, I have big respect for Black Leopards. I don’t underestimate Black Leopards.
“They started the league well. They are a good team. They try to play football.
It’s not going to be an easy game for us. It’s a tough game. I respect this team.
“We are trying to prepare for this game very well because Black Leopards is a dangerous team.”
Joel Masutha, Black Leopards coach:
“Everyone is excited to play big teams. My players will be motivated on the field,” said the Leopards tactician.
“They want to test themselves against a Chiefs team that has not won a cup in like three years. They [Chiefs] will be under pressure and they will be forced to come at us.
“The people expects them to win, but it’s not going to be an easy match for either side because we will be up for the challenge.”
Key players – Kaizer Chiefs:
Khama Billiat – Fresh from helping Zimbabwe to impressive results against DR Congo in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers this past week, Billiat hopes to pick up where he left off in Kaizer Chiefs colours and play a major role in this cup clash.
Dumisani Zuma – The former Bloemfontein Celtic forward has impressed in recent times, using his speed and movement to compliment Chiefs’ other attackers.
He hopes to put up a strong display against Leopards on Sunday.
Key players – Black Leopards:
Marks Munyai – The hard-working midfielder was once strongly linked with a move to Kaizer Chiefs.
While that transfer may never have materialised, he will still be determined to put in a powerful display against the Amakhosi and inspire Leopards to a place in the TKO quarterfinals.
Phathutshedzo Nange – The last player to score a goal for Leopards (in their 1-0 league win over Limpopo rivals Baroka FC in early October).
Nange hopes to back of the net again as Lidoda Duvha face a tough challenge at Soccer City.