The Dube Birds’ captain Lefa Tsutsulupa says there are no longer so-called ‘big teams’ and that such a notion of belongs to a bygone era.
“The so-called smaller teams have closed the gap over the years and as such it will be folly for anyone to label the Birds as underdogs,” Tsutsulupa says.
“Recent league results are testament to this. The so-called big teams are big in history not on the field of play today. Apart from history, nothing else makes them big,” the Swallows skipper adds.
Tsutsulupa says they have put their League defeat against Pirates behind them and are now concentrating on dumping Bucs out of the Telkom Knockout Cup.
“It will take a lot of work though. I do not see the game going into extra time. We are prepared for the match and going out there to win and not to avenge our loss to in the League,” the Ladybrand-born player says.
The two old Soweto foes have met 14 times in official Cup matches since 1985, and statistics suggest that there will be little to choose between them.
Five wins apiece and four draws shows that down the years neither the Birds nor the Buccaneers have managed to decisively get the better of each other in the pressurised environment of a knockout situation.
The last time they met in a Cup competition was back in 2006/07 in the Absa Cup, Pirates claiming a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Lucky Lekgwathi and July Mahlangu.
Both sides will be looking to the Telkom Knockout Cup as a way to end their respective trophy droughts.
Swallows last won some silverware in the 2003/04 season, beating Pirates on their way to winning the Absa Cup, so perhaps they will see this match as something of a good omen.
The Buccaneers last lifted an official competition trophy in 2002/03, when they were crowned the League Champions. But their wait for a Cup triumph has been even longer; the 2000 top eight competition was their last Cup success.