Students versus masters in Wafa Wafa
Three of the four MTN8 fixtures will see three coaches facing their former clubs.
All eyes will be on Steve Komphela as he starts his new life at defending champions Kaizer Chiefs, interestingly against his former side, Maritzburg United. He qualified the club for their maiden top-eight finish.
This game will see a student – Mandla Ncikazi – coming up against his mentor, Komphela. The two worked together, not only at United, but at Free State Stars.
While Komphela knows the Pietermaritzburg side in and out, Ncikazi can also claim to know Komphela’s thinking and approach to the game. This should make it an interesting game to watch.
Another clash of former student and mentor is the one between Ajax Cape Town and Orlando Pirates, in which Roger De Sá will face Eric Tinkler.
The two worked together at Bidvest Wits before moving to the Buccaneers.
Unfortunately, De Sá will not be on the bench as he will be serving his second match out. This is because of a red card he received in the final league game, ironically against the same Pirates.
De Sá had already served one match out during the Nedbank Cup final in May against Mamelodi Sundowns.
Gavin Hunt will come face to face with his former club, SuperSport United, in another must-see clash.
The Bidvest Wits coach faces former Bafana Bafana mentor Gordon Igesund, who has three New Zealanders in his team.
Hunt has also been busy on the market after capturing the services of Elias Pelembe and Daine Klate, both of whom he coached at United.
Mamelodi Sundowns will be hoping to continue where they left off last season when they meet Bloemfontein Celtic. Sundowns won the Nedbank Cup in their last game of last season, but the 5-0 drubbing they got from Celtic will still be fresh in their mind.
This will be revenge time for the Brazilians, who have a score to settle against Siwelele Sa Masele. But pressure is on Komphela to start his new job on a good note. Defending the MTN8 will prove his detractors wrong and cement his place in the hard-to-please Amakhosi supporters’ hearts.
FACE TO FACE Eric Tinkler
LET THE GAMES BEGIN Roger De Sá