The Dube Birds take on the People's Team from Cape town in a Castle Premiership clash at the Rand Stadium at 4.00p.m this afternoon.
Moroka Swallows won last season's corresponding first round game against Santos 1-0, courtesy of a Japhet Zwane strike on their home turf in Gauteng.
Zwane has since moved to Russian club FC Rostov, but the Birds have replaced the talented winger with the speedy Edzai Kasinauyo from Hellenic, while they also have Lucas Sebona firing down the other flank.
In the second round of the Premier Soccer League Swallows managed to draw with Santos at the Athlone Stadium, resulting in the latter missing qualification for the BP Top 8, or SAA Supa 8, as it is now known.
The People's Team are currently lying fourth in the league table, after an overwhelming victory over three time PSL champions Sundowns in Cape Town on Sunday. They drew their first game against Dynamos in Giyani.
Coach Boebie Solomons knows that his team will have to be at their best to secure their first ever away victory over the Birds: "We're expecting a tough encounter against Swallows, we've never beaten them at home yet. They are under pressure for a win after their draw last Sunday against Zulu Royals, so it's goin to be a tough game for us."
Coach Solomons also confirmed that winger Tyren Arendse will be out of action for at least three weeks with a lung infection. However, his Mauritian duo of Jean-Marc Ithier and Sebastian Bax will be returning after their national duties.
Swallows are currently in 12th on the PSL log. They will be boosted by the return of defender George Hummel and Kasinauyo from suspension, although Albert Kometsi and Shaun Permall still remain sidelined through injury
Probable Starting line ups:
Swallows: Etafia, Christian, Lewis, McNab, Petersen, Ngobeni, Rabolele, Sebona, Lota, Mazibuko, Jordan
Santos: Wardle, Mbidzo, Otieno, Burton, Mnchunu, Tsotetsi, Bantam, Kanono, Solomons, Moloi, Ithier
Players To Watch:
Swallows: Kerryn Jordan came on as a substitute and scored the equaliser for the Birds. His tireless running off the ball and predatory instincts should make him the danger man for Edries Burton and co.
Santos: New signings Thembile 'Zane' Kanono and Marawaan Bantam immediatley made an impact in the Sundowns game when they both scored, with Bantam getting a brace.
22 dec Moroka Swallows 1 - 0 Santos (Rand Stadium)
3may Santos 0- 1 Moroka Swallows (Athlone Stadium)
Referee: Bennett Ditshego
Assistants: Alfred Mahlangu and Lazarus Matela
Fourth Official: Sipho Masondo