The Clever Boys, as the Bidvest Wits Soccer Team are known, aim to send Santos back to the classroom for a football lesson in their first-round match of the Nedbank Cup. The game will be played at the Bidvest Stadium on Sunday, March 13, and kick-off is at 3pm.
Having emerged victorious in the competition last year, Bidvest will be hoping to get a perfect start to their championship defence by defeating the Cape Town side.
Wits are no strangers to beating Santos and to ensure that the players showcase a top performance as they did in the February league fixture when they brushed off the People’s Team with a convincing 3-1 score line, the coaching staff and technical team are putting in extra hard work in preparations.
Goal keeper Darren Keat said: “Keeping a clean sheet is essential because it is a knock-out Cup game.
“We are strong enough to beat Santos, and we can achieve that if we keep our eyes on the ball.”
Wits will be looking to the likes of Sifiso Vilakazi upfront to spearhead the attacks. Vilakazi said: “The mood is high in camp and against an unpredictable side such as Santos we need to attack from the first whistle in order to win.”
Despite lying in sixth position on the Absa Premiership log, Wits have had a recent impressive run of matches. In their last 10 games they have won six and drawn two, scoring a total of 23 goals.
They will hope to carry this run of form into Sunday’s game which, should they win, will send a strong message to the rest of their opponents that they strive for nothing less than retaining the Cup.
A concern for the team could be that their leading scorer, Bhongolwethu Jayiya, will not be able to play as he has featured in the same competition before, for a team in the first divison prior to joining Wits.
According to midfielder Mark Haskins this is not really a worry for the team. “We have been on a good run lately and playing at home is a good enough boost to see us through to the next round,” he said.