'When two elephants battle it is the ground that suffers,' goes the saying. This will indeed be the case when SAA Supa8 defending champions, Supersport United, visit the inaugural runners up Moroka Swallows, at Germiston Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
By their own high standards, the Dube Birds have not had a great start in this season league campaign with many of their key players spending time in the casualty ward, while a couple of others have been on the suspension list.
Despite being up against the odds, coach Gavin Hunt and his boys are not the types to lie down like the lambs to slaughter and have a reputation of fighting till the very end.
Pitso Mosimane may have had the upper hand against both Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates in recent times, but he has not been able to rule the whole of Soweto as the Birds have always proved to be hard nuts to crack for him.
Last season when the two teams met at the Rand Stadium, Swallows defender Ashley Opperman was shown a red card in the 40th minute, but the Birds soldiered on for the remaining fifty minutes and still managed a goalless draw.Mosimane threw everything into attack but the Birds kept them at bay and salvaged a point.
Past records between the two teams show that the Birds have had the upper hand and Mosimane, as well as former Swallows marksman, Lungisani Ndlela, will be itching to change this statistic.
Moroka Swallows skipper, Goodman Mazibuko is on record as saying they are not scared of Supersport United and Ndlela.
United may be hoping to add on Swallows woes but history has shown that it is very dangerous to play near the wounded lion and it may not be a good time for Pitso`s boys to meet the wounded Birds.
Not when it is still fresh in Gavin Hunt and player`s minds how they lost the inaugural SAA Supa 8 final to Cosmos through the golden goal scored by veteran Lovers Mohlala in Durban two years ago.
Having lost their first two league, some people may easily write off the Birds for this one, but not those who know that league and cup football form never goes hand in hand.
After returning empty handed twice in their SAA Supa 8 campaign, Swallows will be in uncompromising mood. The expected return of the duo of Cecil Oerson and Goodman Mazibuko will spur the Birds to start off flying.
Knowing that the semi finals draw will be made immediately after this game at the Germiston Stadium, the Birds will be hoping to give their loyal supporters something to cheer about by joining Sundowns, Pirates and either Kaizer Chiefs or Bloemfontein Celtic in the last four.
By : Patrick Zikalala