In-form Santos can roast Birds tonight

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Kick off is at 20h00.

The Peoples’ Team are the form side in South African football at the moment. They are still in with a chance of winning the league title, thanks in no small part to triumphing in six of their last seven top flight games, and they also sent Orlando Pirates packing from the Nedbank Cup in the first round, beating the Buccaneers on penalties after a thrilling 2-2 draw at Athlone.

But in facing the Birds at Germiston on Friday evening, David Bright’s team will have to overcome another of the Soweto giants if they are to qualify for the quarterfinals and continue Santos’ excellent recent record in this particular cup competition.

These two teams have met five times in knockout ties since 1991 and it is Santos who have traditionally had the better of their opponents.

The Cape side have won two matches to Swallows’ one in their five meetings, and on the two occasions the game ended in a draw, it was Santos who emerged victorious on penalties.

Just two seasons ago Santos and Swallows met in the same round of the same cup tournament, albeit under different sponsorship back then, at the Orlando Stadium, with the visitors winning 2-1 thanks to a late goal from Dipsy Selolwane.

Furthermore, the Peoples’ Team have taken four points off the Birds in their league matches this season, drawing 1-1 at home last year before trouncing Ian Gorowa’s side 4-1 just over a month ago.

The Soweto side can claim a better overall head-to-head record, winning 12 matches to 10 in their 33 games in both league and cup since 1991, but one senses that they will have to be on their best form if they are to avoid another early exit from a prestigious knockout competition.

1991Swallows 0 Santos 0Santos 2 (Crowie, Payne) Swallows 0Bob Save Qfinal - Swallows 2 (Cousins, Mpondo) Santos 1 (Reinders)

1992Swallows 1 (Mpondo) Santos 1 (Crowie)Santos 0 Swallows 0

1993Swallows 4 (Ramasike, Mphafudi 2, Leepo) Santos 0Santos 0 Swallows 1 (Sikhonde)Bob Save 2nd Rd - Santos 0 Swallows 0 - Santos won 7-6 on penalties

1997/98Santos 0 Swallows 2 (J.Lekgetho, Lekwane)Swallows 1 ( Nkosi) Santos 0

1998/99Santos 1 (Crowie) Swallows 1 (Rapalego)Swallows 1 (J.Lekgetho) Santos 0

1999/2000Santos 1 (Ithier) Swallows 1 (Matshitse)Swallows 1 (Nkosi) Santos 3 (Baloyi, Masinga, Burton)

2000/01Santos 1 (Masinga) Swallows 0Swallows 3 (Batchelor (pen), Lerefolo, Fumo) Santos 1 (Otieno (pen))Bob Save semi final - Santos 1 (Ithier) Swallows 0

2001/02Swallows 2 (Mokoena, Sebona) Santos 1 (Matshitse (og))Santos 0 Swallows 0

2002/03Swallows 1 (J. Zwane) Santos 0Santos 1 (Scott) Swallows 1 (Jordan)

2003/04Swallows 2 (Sebona, Lota) Santos 0Santos 5 (Kanono, Mannetti, Bantam, Ithier, Otieno) Swallows 1 (Mazibuko)

2004/05Santos 1 (Ithier) Swallows 0Swallows 1 (Phiri (pen)) Santos 1 (Phiri (og))

2005/06Swallows 2 (Phiri) Santos 3 (Kanono, C.Scott, Bantam)Santos 1 (R.Scott) Swallows 0Coca Cola Cup 1st Rd - Santos 0 Swallows 0 - Santos won 2-1 on penaltiesAbsa Cup 2nd Rd - Swallows 1 (Niang) Santos 2 (Bantam, Selolwane)

2006/07Swallows 2 (Haskins, Makonese (og)) Santos 0Santos 0 Swallows 3 (Botes 2, Zwane)

2007/08Santos 1 (Rodgers) Swallows 1 (Mokoro)Swallows 1 (Chamanga) Santos 4 (Isaacs (pen), Gabonamong 2, Mngomeni)

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