German Bundesliga side, Schalke 04 will welcome Champions League holders, Real Madrid for their last 16 clash at Veltins Arena on Wednesday, February 18. The hosts could be in for another beating with, 19-year-old goalkeeper, Timon Wellenreuther, set to make his competition debut, however The Royal Blues will be buoyed by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s return following his serving of a domestic ban, and is now set for his first game since January 31.
Roberto Di Matteo’s side currently sit fourth in the Bundesliga standings and are coming off a narrow 1-0 league defeat at the hands Eintracht Frankfurt on Valentines Day. Los Blancos made a winning comeback on the weekend when they beat Deportivo La Coruna 2-0 with goals from Isco and Karim Benzema. In this corresponding fixture earlier last year, the Santiago Bernabéu side won 6-1 before triumphing 3-1 in the second leg.
One of the most lucrative domestic cup competitions on the African continent, the Nedbank Cup returns for its eighth edition when the last 32 commences. Mpumalanga Black Aces and Maritzburg United will once again renew their rivalry tonight, Wednesday, February 18, at the Mbombela Stadium. In last year’s Nedbank Cup knockout encounter between Aces and Maritzburg, the Team of Choice claimed a 2-1 win over AmaZayoni, with Terrence Mandaza netting the winner in extra-time. The Clive Barker-led side are currently on a five-game winless streak with Steve Komphela’s side in a similar fashion. They haven’t won in six outings, with the KwaZulu-Natal side’s last victory coming against Orlando Pirates at the FNB Stadium early in December 2014.
National First Division table-toppers, Golden Arrows will face rivals, AmaZulu in a KZN Derby for the Nedbank Cup last 32 fixture on Friday, February 20, at the Princess Magogo Stadium. Unlike their PSL counterparts, Abafana Bes’thende claimed a 2-0 win over FC Cape Town in their league clash, a huge morale-boosting result ahead of their short trip to visiting Usuthu. Steve Barker’s side are still rooted at the bottom of the PSL table and will seek revival when they host the high-flying Shaun Bartlett led-side.
If you are a betting person, here are tips ahead of the fixtures brought to you by Soccer 6 and Moroka Swallows midfielder, Lefa Tsutsulupa.
For more info on this and other fixtures, go to the Soccer 6 website here or the Soccer 6 mobi-site here!
SCHALKE V REAL MADRID
League position: Schalke 4th (in Germany) and Real 1st (in Spain)
Useful facts: In this UEFA Champions League quarter-final clash, Bundesliga outfit Schalke take on Spanish giants Real Madrid at home. The Galacticos aren’t quite in the same imperious form they showed at the start of the season, and the German side might fancy their chances of an upset. Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent lean run in front of goal might also be a concern for Real. If there was ever a time for Schalke to play Madrid, it would be now. The La Liga leaders are showing clear signs of vulnerability meaning a shock could be in the offing in this encounter.
Lefa Tsutsulupa: Real win.
BLACK ACES V MARITZBURG UNITED
League position: Aces 12th and United 9th
Useful facts: Black Aces have started 2015 in less than convincing fashion and are perilously close to the relegation zone. A good performance in this Nedbank Cup clash would certainly go a long way to boosting flagging confidence levels. However, the Team of Choice are a well-oiled machine under Steve Komphela, and will be giving nothing away in this encounter.
Lefa Tsutsulupa: Aces home win.
AMAZULU V GOLDEN ARROWS
League position: AmaZulu 16th (in PSL) and Arrows 1st (in NFD)
Useful facts: AmaZulu are in absolute dire straits at the wrong end of the PSL table. They appear to be completely devoid of confidence and right now seem to be doomed to relegation. Meanwhile, Arrows are flying in the National First Division and look strong contenders to bounce back to the PSL, and it could be that the lower ranked team are favourites to win in this Nedbank Cup tie. Usuthu look completely demoralised and appear to be staring down the barrel when it comes to relegation.
Lefa Tsutsulupa: AmaZulu victory.
Source: Soccer Laduma