Benni McCarthy chats with his old coach Gavin Hunt following a pre-season friendly last month. Photo: Chris Ricco, BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – What a thrilling start we’ll get to the new Absa Premiership season – champions Bidvest Wits against Cape Town City!

The PSL champions will host last season’s surprise packages, with master coach Gavin Hunt coming up against one of his star pupils from the past, Benni McCarthy, who will make his bow as a coach in the league on Friday, August 18 at Bidvest Stadium in Johannesburg (8pm kickoff).

The opening weekend of the Premiership will follow the first round of the MTN8, which starts next Friday, August 11.

African champions Mamelodi Sundowns get going on Saturday, August 19 in a Tshwane derby against SuperSport United at Lucas Moripe Stadium, with Matsantsantsa a Pitori classified as the home team.

New Orlando Pirates coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic will open his league campaign against Chippa United home, while Kaizer Chiefs begin their account away to Bloemfontein Celtic on Sunday, August 20 at 3pm.

Premiership Opening Fixtures

Friday, August 18

8pm: Wits vs Cape Town Stadium (Bidvest Stadium)

Saturday, August 19

3pm: SuperSport United vs Mamelodi Sundowns (Lucas Moripe Stadium), Polokwane City vs Baroka FC (Peter Mokaba Stadium), AmaZulu vs Free State Stars (King Zwelithini Stadium).

6pm: Orlando Pirates vs Chippa United (Orlando Stadium).

8.15pm: Ajax Cape Town vs Golden Arrows (Cape Town Stadium)

Sunday, August 20

3pm: Bloemfontein Celtic vs Kaizer Chiefs (Free State Stadium), Platinum Stars vs Maritzburg United (Royal Bafokeng Stadium)