Muhsin Ertugral believes the outcome of Saturdays Coca-Cola Cup first round clash between Santos and Kaizer Chiefs at the Athlone Stadium in Cape Town will be decided in midfield.
The Turkish-born coach, who has had spells with both clubs, told the Cape Times on Friday that veteran Chiefs midfielder John Shoes Moshoeu will hold the key to domination in the centre of the park.
The 37-year-old Moshoeu, who spent 10 years plying his trade in Turkey, has plundered six goals in as many PSL games for the Phefeni Glamour Boys this season and has been the inspiration that has seen the club surge to the top of the league standings.
Midfield domination will be crucial. Chiefs appear to be a balanced and stable team, and Shoes is, of course, in superb form, Ertugral is quoted as saying.
"He will pose the main danger to Santos. On the basis of his recent showings, it would be foolish for any team to underestimate Shoes.
He will have to be kept quiet if Santos have hopes of going through."
Ertugral, who concedes it is very difficult to pick a winner of the crunch tie, also warns the Amakhosi not to underestimate The Peoples Team.
"They (Santos) make up for a lack of natural flair with loads of commitment.
That's a crucial component in the make-up of any team when the going gets tough in cup football."
The Coca-Cola Cup carries a winners cheque of R2 million.
Chiefs have appeared in the last two finals of the competition, thumping Jomo Cosmos 5-0 in 2001/02 and going down to the same opponents in last seasons showpiece.
Santos however are no mugs and have shown a good appetite for cup football over the past couple of seasons; winning the Bob Save Superbowl three seasons back, and grabbing the BP Top 8 and ABSA Cup titles last term.
Play kicks off at 3:15 in what promises to be a highly entertaining showdown.