Stellenbosch FC will lock horns with Western Cape rivals Cape Town City in a unique derby encounter in the Gauteng Biological Safe Environment (BSE) on Thursday evening at an empty Tuks Stadium.
Steve Barker is expecting a tough game in a familiar environment, the Tuks Stadium in Pretoria, where he coached AmaTuks for several years.
Barker’s men returned to action with a solid 1-0 victory over Golden Arrows and will be up against a City side in good form since the resumption of football as they edged Chippa United 1-0 and beat Mamelodi Sundowns 3-2.
“It doesn’t sound right when you say Cape-derby in Gauteng,” said Barker.
“Some matches in the past were quite heated, especially the one in the beginning of this season. It was quite a heated battle, but it’s good. It’s healthy.
“We want to create that derby feeling and we want to be the highest finishing team in the Western Cape this season and there’s only one team standing in our way and that’s Cape Town City,” added Barker.
The Absa Premiership rookies are currently 11th on the log standings with eight wins and 30 points from their 25 matches, while the ‘Citizens’ are in seventh place, only three points ahead of ‘Stellies’.
In the first round, City narrowly beat Stellenbosch 1-0 at Athlone Stadium.
“There has been a rivalry in a short space of time that has been built between ourselves and Cape Town City. There are players who know each other well having played against each other in Cape Town growing up.”
The Cape-derby in Pretoria will start at 18:00.
By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi