Keanu Cupido (left) will fill in for the suspended Taariq Fielies in the Cape Town City defence against SuperSport United. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy is confident his team will beat SuperSport United in a Nedbank Cup last-32 tie at Cape Town Stadium tonight (8.15pm kickoff) if his players “give 150 percent”.

The Citizens have faced United three times already this season, and won on each occasion without conceding a goal.

They picked up two wins in the Premier League and denied their Pretoria rivals the MTN8 title after beating them on penalties.

An interesting snippet to this contest is that United manager Kaitano Tembo played for Cape Town-based Seven Stars, the club where McCarthy launched his professional career.

Last season there was another interesting aspect in that City played Bidvest Wits, who are coached by Gavin Hunt, four times. Hunt was coach of Seven Stars and handed McCarthy his debut.

Of the three, Hunt has been the most successful though he has been in the job a lot longer while McCarthy, who took over as City coach two years ago, has guided his side to the MTN title as well as excellent performances in the league.

However, Tembo is still seeking success at United.

City’s recent form has been outstanding, with only one defeat recorded in their last nine games, and there is no reason they shouldn’t continue against Tembo’s team tonight.

United have brought a stronger team to the one that went down 1-0 to City in a league game when they were last in the Mother City.

They have strengthened with players like Dean Furman, the main cog in their engine room, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, the 36-year-old who seems forever young, and the young, exciting talent Teboho Moekoena, who McCarthy rates highly.

“Teboho is sensational on the ball, and we will have to be alert to the threat he poses going forward,” said McCarthy.

City have been dealt a blow with the news that influential midfielders Roland Putsche and Thabo Nodada are out injured, while their centre-back Taariq Fielies was red-carded during the 5-0 win over Free State Stars and thus misses out.

His absence opens the door for Keanu Cupido to strut his stuff at the back.

“Keanu showed recently that he is a capable defender when the pressure is on, and I’m sure he’ll deliver another telling performance.

“But it will be good to have Edmilson Dove and Ebrahim Seedat back in our last line, so we’re not so tight-squeezed and having to have a makeshift defence,” McCarthy said.

Key players who could be match winners for City are wingers Gift Links and Craig Martin, and striker Siphelele Mthembu.

Weekend Argus

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