Pirates vs City will be the final before the final‚ says Johannes

Marc van Heerden of Orlando Pirates during the Orlando Pirates Media Open Day at Rand Stadium on March 12, 2018 in Johannesburg.
Marc van Heerden of Orlando Pirates during the Orlando Pirates Media Open Day at Rand Stadium on March 12, 2018 in Johannesburg.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Form will be thrown out the window when Cape Town City host Orlando Pirates in a mouthwatering Nedbank Cup second round 16 showdown at the Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday night.

City captain Robyn Johannes issued the warning ahead of a potentially explosive encounter that Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic described as the match of the round.

“It’s the final before the final‚” Johannes joked on Tuesday as City held a morning training session in wet conditions at the match venue.

City go into the midweek game having fallen out of the race for the league title‚ some five points behind Pirates in the Absa Premiership standings and with a meagre tally of 23 goals in 24 matches.

Pirates sit second and arrive in Cape Town on the back of a run of four successive wins‚ including victory in their last game in the derby against arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs.

“We are not naïve‚ we know it is a very difficult game and a big task ahead of us but in games like these form gets thrown out the window.

"It will go to whoever wants it more on the day and I’m sure we’ll be up for the challenge‚” said the City skipper.

Johannes‚ 31‚ admitted that his side go into the cup tie on the back of inconsistent form but he added that they were still motivated to do better than they did last season when they won a cup trophy and finished third in the league.

“We’ve had loads of ups and downs this season but you know we want to get closer to the top of the pack as quickly as we can.

"This gives us a chance to shift the focus a bit and challenge for the Nedbank (Cup) and forget about the league for a while.

"We want to try and go all the way.

Upfront City have battled to score but Johannes said it was always going to be difficult after the sale of players like Lehlohonolo Majoro‚ Lebohang Manyama and Aubrey Ngoma.

“The club did well to get hold of players they think can solve the problem for us and we hope that happens going forward.

"Obviously we’ve been shy of scoring but created chances and we keep going.

"The coach works hard at training with finishing and hopefully that will change things and hopefully we will score lots of goals in the future‚” he added.

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