Bat­tles that may de­cide the game

Keep an eye on the mid­dle of the park

Sowetan - - Dipapadi -

Tiyani Mabasa has iden­ti­fied the key matchups that could prove de­ci­sive in to­mor­row’s Telkom Knock­out fi­nal be­tween Baroka and Pi­rates

Vin­cent Pule v Thabiso Se­menya

Pule has been tear­ing de­fences apart all sea­son and has five goals, as well as four as­sists in 16 matches. But Se­menya, who’s still got the legs at 36, is an ex­pe­ri­enced cam­paigner, which makes for an in­ter­est­ing bat­tle.

Tal­ent Chawapiwa v Asavela Mbek­ile

While Chawapiwa at­tacks re­lent­lessly, Mbek­ile has the en­gine and he too doesn’t stop run­ning. Chawapiwa, how­ever, has not scored this sea­son in 14 matches, though there are matches where he was man of the match, like against Kaizer Chiefs ear­lier in the sea­son. Mbek­ile has fought hard to force his way into the team. He’s played two of the three Telkom Knock­out matches, in­clud­ing the 2-1 semi­fi­nal win against Kaizer Chiefs.

Them­binkosi Lorch v Ana­nias Geb­hardt

With five goals and two as­sists in 15 matches this sea­son, Lorch has been get­ting bet­ter with each game. Gerb­hardt will have his hands full try­ing to stop him. There are ap­par­ently some con­cerns that some goals Baroka have con­ceded have come from Gerb­hardt’s side, but the pos­i­tive is that the Lim­popo side is yet to con­cede in the Telkom Knock­out, which is a credit to the Namib­ian and Baroka’s

en­tire de­fence.

Mduduzi Mdantsane v Xola Mlambo

When these two play­ers get go­ing, they are ca­pa­ble of giv­ing their re­spec­tive teams the up­per hand. Who­ever is in top form in the cen­tre of the park could well end up on the win­ning side. Mdantsane has taken on more re­spon­si­bil­ity, be­ing the cap­tain of the side at the mo­ment, but such has been Mlambo’s in­flu­ence in the heart of Pi­rates’ mid­field that more is ex­pected from him ev­ery match.

Justin Shonga v Vusi Sibiya

The Zam­bian will have to be on top of his game and take his chances when­ever they fall his way. Shonga has at times dis­ap­pointed with his fin­ish­ing, but he’s also scored some good goals. Keep­ing an eye on him will be Vusi Sibiya, who’s in his first sea­son in the top flight. Whether he’s up to the task will be an­swered.

Pi­rates at­tacker Vin­cent Pule

Baroka de­fender Thabiso Se­menya

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