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Nedbank Cup Final 2023: Sundowns vs Pirates Line-ups and Key Insights

Nedbank Cup Final 2023: Sundowns vs Pirates Line-ups and Key Insights Jun, 1 2024

Nedbank Cup Final 2023: Sundowns and Pirates Confirmed XI

The excitement is palpable as Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates gear up for the highly-anticipated Nedbank Cup final at Mbombela Stadium. The match, which promises fireworks, is set to kick off at 15h00 and both teams have now announced their starting line-ups. Sundowns are riding high on a season that's been nothing short of spectacular, aiming to complete a historic treble. They have already bagged the African Football League and DStv Premiership league titles, and adding the Nedbank Cup would be the cherry on top.

On their path to the final, Sundowns have had a relatively comfortable journey. They defeated three Motsepe Foundation Championship sides before overcoming Stellenbosch in the semi-finals. The squad for today's encounter is a blend of experience and youthful exuberance. Goalkeeper Williams will be protecting the goalposts, with Mudau, Kekana, Lebusa, and Modiba forming a solid backline. In midfield, the trio of Zungu, Mokoena, and Aubaas are expected to dictate the tempo of the game. Up front, Allende, Zwane, and Ribeiro will be looking to break down Pirates' defense and find the back of the net.

On the opposite end, Orlando Pirates have their own ambitions. The Bucs are looking to add another trophy to their cabinet, having already clinched the MTN8 earlier this season. Their route to the final has been more challenging compared to their opponents. Pirates had to overcome third-tier side Crystal Lake, Hungry Lions, AmaZulu, and Chippa United. Pirates are known for their resilience, and today they will be fielding a team that represents the best of their squad. Chaine will be in goal, supported by defenders Ndah, Maela, Sesane, and Monyane. The midfield will feature Makhaula, Hotto, and Mbatha, with Maswanganyi, Saleng, and Makgopa spearheading the attack.

The Path to the Final

The journey to the final has been different for both teams. While Sundowns seemed to have an easier run, comfortably beating their opponents, Pirates had to dig deep to make it to this stage. The clashes between these two giants of South African football have been nail-biting affairs. This will be the fourth time they face each other this season. Sundowns secured a 1-0 win in their first league encounter, Pirates bounced back to win the MTN8 final via penalties, and their last match ended in a dramatic 1-1 draw.

The Nedbank Cup final is not just a battle for silverware; it is a clash of two football philosophies and two of the most passionate fan bases in the country. The build-up to the game has been intense, with both sets of supporters making their voices heard. For Sundowns, this game represents an opportunity to complete a treble, something few clubs in South African football history have achieved. For Pirates, it is a chance to show their mettle and secure a double, adding another chapter to their storied history.

What to Expect

The game is set to be a tactical battle. Sundowns’ coach has emphasized the importance of controlling the game from midfield, leveraging their technical superiority. They will look to dominate possession and create scoring opportunities through intricate play. Pirates, however, are known for their counter-attacking prowess and will rely on a solid defensive setup to absorb pressure before hitting Sundowns on the break. The key to the game will likely be the midfield battle and the ability of each team to execute their game plan under pressure.

Both teams have depth on the bench, which could prove pivotal in the latter stages of the game. Sundowns have the likes of Onyango, Lunga, Morena, Mkhulise, Mbule, Mendieta, Maema, Esquive, and Matthews waiting in the wings, ready to make an impact. Pirates can call on Buthelezi, Sibisi, Lepasa, Dlamini, Mabasa, Baloni, Lebitso, Mofokeng, and Mthethwa. The substitutes might just swing the game in their team's favor, adding another layer of intrigue to what promises to be a thrilling contest.

Players to Watch

Key players for Sundowns include their captain Munyai, whose leadership and defensive prowess will be crucial. In midfield, Mokoena’s passing ability and vision can unlock defenses, while Zwane’s creativity will be a constant threat to Pirates’ backline. Forward Ribeiro is another significant figure; his goal-scoring form has been impressive this season.

For Pirates, all eyes will be on their star midfielder Makhaula, who has been in exceptional form. His ability to break up play and start attacks has been instrumental in their journey to the final. Saleng, with his pace and trickery on the wings, will look to exploit any space left by Sundowns’ full-backs. Lastly, goalkeeper Chaine will need to be at his best to keep Sundowns’ potent attacking lineup at bay.

As the clock ticks towards kick-off, fans from across the country are buzzing with anticipation. Whether you’re a Sundowns supporter eager for another piece of silverware or a Pirates fan hoping for a double, this match has all the ingredients for a classic encounter. Stay tuned, as the Nedbank Cup final at Mbombela Stadium promises to be an exhilarating spectacle of South African football.


In summary, today's Nedbank Cup final between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates is set to be a thriller. Both teams have a lot at stake, and their journeys to the final have been filled with challenges and triumphs. The confirmed line-ups promise a competitive and entertaining match. Sundowns, aiming for a treble, have shown their quality throughout the season, while Pirates, looking to secure a trophy double, have demonstrated resilience and determination. As fans eagerly await the kick-off, one thing is certain: this game will be a memorable chapter in South African football history.

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