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Three match-ups that could decide the MTN8 final between AmaZulu and Orlando Pirates

Three match-ups that could decide the MTN8 final between AmaZulu and Orlando Pirates

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One of the teams between Orlando Pirates and AmaZulu will soar to cloud nine after the MTN8 final at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.

IOL Sport’s MIHLALI BALEKA looks at three match-ups that could be key in delivering the first silverware of the season to one of the teams before the World Cup break.

Nkosinathi Sibisi v Gabadinho Mhango

Nkosinathi Sibisi has been in fine form for Pirates since his move to the club before the start of the season, such that he is the only ever-present player at the back.

He will have to be at his best in his first Cup final, having come short with Golden Arrows before, especially with Gabadinho Mhango looking to haunt Pirates.

Mhango was a Buccaneer last season, but his relationship with the coaches saw him being in and out of the team before he moved to AmaZulu where he has scored five goals.

Mhango is quick and has a knack for goals, but he should meet his match in Sibisi who is timely in his tackling and victorious in one-on-one duels.

Miguel Timm v Makhehleni Makhaula

Miguel Timm was a notable absentee in Pirates’ midfield during the Soweto derby, due to suspension, as they lost the clash against rivals Kaizer Chiefs.

Fit and ready for the clash against AmaZulu, the kingpin should have an interesting battle with Makhehleni Makhaula, the Durban team’s captain.

Makhaula is a hard-nosed maestro, known for tough tackles and silky passes, but Timm should give him a run for his money.

The two players have won the Nedbank Cup with their former clubs, and that big-match temperament will be handy in the MTN8 final.

Kermit Erasmus v Abbubaker Mobara

Kermit Erasmus seems to be enjoying his football since returning to Pirates from Mamelodi Sundowns after the start of the campaign.

He will want to continue with his fine form this season and put in a great shift up front, to add to his one goal and three assists at Pirates so far.

Erasmus will be watched like a hawk by Mobara, who will want to impress the Bafana Bafana coaches.

Mobara is not the quickest of defenders, but his tactical awareness makes him stand head and shoulders above the rest. And, of course, Erasmus will know that.

@Mihlalibaleka

IOL Sport

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