Nedbank Cup Preview: AmaZulu

Orlando Pirates’ Nedbank Cup title defence takes them to Durban where they square up against AmaZulu in a quarterfinal clash taking place at Moses Mabhida Stadium this Saturday.

It’s the first of back-to-back encounters between the two oldest clubs in the competition, who are also due to renew rivalries in a league clash held in Soweto in the space of a week. 

Form Guide 

Foremost on each side’s focus this week is the cup game at hand, with victory guaranteeing yet another step forward in the search for silverware. Both teams registered comfortable wins in the previous round of the competition, and have made it to the Last Eight without conceding.

The Buccaneers have netted an impressive 10 goals over the two concluded rounds, putting six past fourth-tier outfit Crystal Lake at Mbombela Stadium before beating Championship side Hungry Lions 4-0 in their Round of 16 clash played at Orlando Stadium. 

League form has however been a bit more indifferent for the Soweto Giants, who have displayed glimpses of their free-scoring ability. Their clinical nature in front of goal was evident in their most recent outing where they crushed Lamontville Golden Arrows 7-1 to claim a crucial three points at home.

All three of Pirates’ wins in their last five games across competitions have come on home turf, while they have only managed a draw and a defeat on the road during this period. They can ill-afford another slip-up away from home as they prepare to face off against their first top-flight opponents in this year’s edition of the competition.

Usuthu will also take some confidence to the clash, having ended a six-match winless run in the league with a 1-0 victory away to Cape Town City in their last outing.

They have been more consistent in the Nedbank Cup, reaching the quarterfinals through a narrow win against Royal AM in the Round of 32 followed by a 2-0 victory over Sekhukhune United. 

Overall, Usuthu have won just two of their last five games, drawing twice and suffering one defeat, and will be gunning for a second consecutive win when they come up against the Buccaneers.

Team News 

Changes can be expected in the Bucs defence, with Tapelo Xoki and Nkosinathi Sibisi both unavailable through suspension. Sibisi is completing a two-match ban following his red card against Moroka Swallows, while Xoki is forced to sit out one match having accumulated enough yellow cards to trigger a suspension. 

Their absence presents another opportunity for the likes of Sandile Mthethwa and Thabiso Sesane who have amassed some minutes on the pitch in recent weeks, while Olisa Ndah is another possibility as he works his way back to fitness after picking up a knock.

For Usuthu, defender Abbubaker Mobara is back in contention for a place in the match-day squad after sitting out the game against City through suspension, while midfielder Ethan Brooks misses out due to a one-match ban. Striker Augustine Chidi Kwem could also feature following a brief spell on the sidelines.

Key Players 

Thabiso Lebitso (Orlando Pirates): In only a handful of appearances in Pirates colours, Lebitso’s overlapping runs and accurate delivery from the right flank have been a productive feature in the attacking third for the Soweto Giants. The 32-year-old has had a hand in four goals for his new club, including three assists in his last two starts.

Junior Dion (AmaZulu): The Ivorian striker has been a key impact player for Usuthu, chipping in with nine goals in all competitions this season. Having notched up a hat-trick in a cup quarterfinal already this season, Dion will be eager to turn in another big performance to help his side to another semifinal appearance.


The Buccaneers are returning to the site of their last cup clash against Usuthu, where they clinched the 2023 MTN8 title after a solitary strike from the boot of Monnapule Saleng separated the two sides.

They have since made two more trips to Moses Mabhida, claiming a convincing 4-0 win on the final day of the 2023/24 league campaign before playing to a goalless draw during the early part of the current season.

The two sides have locked horns 18 times across competitions following AmaZulu’s last triumph over Pirates in August 2013, with the Soweto Giants emerging on the winning side on nine occasions in the 11 years that have elapsed since. 

How to Watch Orlando Pirates vs AmaZulu 

The game kicks off at 18:00 and will be broadcast live on SuperSport PSL. You can stay in touch with the action as it happens by following live updates posted across Orlando Pirates’ social media platforms, including the Club’s official mobile app.

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