BIDVEST Wits kicks off the 2011/12 football season with a quarter-final match in the MTN 8 Cup against Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The MTN 8 Cup is the preliminary knockout competition of the season featuring teams that occupied positions one to eight on the Absa Premiership final log standings from last season.
Wits finished sixth on the log with 40 points from 30 games, managing 10 wins, 10 draws and 10 losses.
Having beaten Amazulu in the Nedbank Cup final in late May last year at FNB Stadium, The Clever Boys will return to FNB with fond memories. This could serve as a good omen for the navy-blue-and-white outfit.
It is, however, the gold-and-black Glamour Boys who currently have bragging rights after being responsible for Wits’s relinquish of the Nedbank Cup title with a convincing 4-0 victory in the second round at Bidvest Stadium towards the end of last season.
Among the top eight teams, Wits has the second worst defensive record of last season’s league campaign with 39 goals conceded. The Clever Boys will strive to avoid a repetition of the last outing they had against Chiefs and will therefore need to be tight at the back if they stand any chance of victory.
To add to their woes, during the off-season transfer period, Chiefs snatched their captain and defender, Tefu Mashamaite, on a three-year deal.
Being the first competitive match of the season for both teams should make the match a cracker and the team which soldiers to a win will know that triumph in a match of this magnitude serves as momentum heading to the commencement of the premiership league.
Wits coach Roger De Sa rated the team’s performance last season as “satisfactory” and because Wits were among the top scoring teams in the league, it will be pleasing to him should his strike force be on target in Sunday’s game.
On paper Chiefs are without doubt favourites to clinch victory, but Wits will not take the game lying down. With an array of young players such as the club’s player of the season, Sifiso Myeni, Wits is sure to oust Chiefs with quick attacking football and cause an upset.