The MTN 8, the newly introduced knockout competition that is sponsored to the tune of R400 million, is bound to be the fiercest top eight competition yet and there will be no favours.
The tournament, known as Wafa-Wafa, will be contested by the Absa Premiership teams that finish in the top eight bracket.
It is likely to capture the imagination of the entire nation, especially with its winner-takes-all format with a whopping R8 million prize. The other seven teams will each get an R800000 participation fee.
Premiership chairman Irvin Khoza said teams have to go for the top spot, because there will be no second best.
"Since the inception of the Top 8 in 1972 we have seen the birth of many legends and some truly memorable matches. This year with the exciting innovations introduced by the PSL and the new sponsors, I feel that the competition will be more exciting ," he said.
MTN chief marketing officer Pieter Verkade said: "As the only African host of the Fifa World Cup, South Africa has shown its passion for football. Through this competition we're taking that passion and giving the local fans an opportunity to see the best clubs competing for the R8million winner-takes-all prize - Wafa Wafa."
Orlando Pirates spokesman Mickey Modisane, whose side meets SuperSport United in the first round, said: "We're going to be the first team to have our name engraved on this trophy. Lifting the Telkom Charity Cup has instilled a strong mentality in the players."
SuperSport's David Skhosana said: "The competition is a great innovation for us and we thank the PSL for the sterling job they did in acquiring the sponsors for the competition."
Santos chief operations officer Edries Burton, whose side faces Kaizer Chiefs, said: "We would have loved to have a home draw but we need to do well and gauge our standard for the league."
Chiefs' spokesman Siya Makunga said: "We've lost the Charity Cup and now we're declaring war on our opponents, Wafa-Wafa."
Moroka Swallows spokesman Siya Sangweni said: "The league is a marathon. After playing 30 matches, a winner gets R10 million. Now this one you only play three games and pocket R8 million."
Friday: Pirates v SuperSport (Johannesburg Stadium, 8pm)
Saturday: Swallows v Ajax Cape Town (Olympia); Chiefs v Santos (Loftus, 8pm)
Sunday: Sundowns v Free State Stars (Super, 3pm).