Chiefs and Wits ready for the MTN 8 semi-finals

Chiefs have to negotiate their way past the team with the liveliest fans in the country.

FILE: Kaizer Chiefs players celebrate after scoring a goal in the MTN 8 match against Maritzburg United. Picture: PSL/Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - As the sides that finished in 1st and 3rd place in the Premier Soccer League (PSL), defending MTN 8 champions Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits are the two remaining favourites in the top eight competition and will be looking to take one step closer to setting up a potential fire cracker of a final.

Chiefs have to negotiate their way past the team with the liveliest fans in the country, Bloemfontein Celtic, in the first leg at the Free State Stadium on Sunday afternoon, but before that, Wits will take on Ajax Cape Town at Stellenbosch's Coetzenburg Stadium on Saturday night, also in the first leg.

With Mamelodi Sundowns, SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates out of the competition, the Amakhosi have been touted as firm favourites to retain their title, a feat only their arch rivals Pirates have achieved in the R8 million tournament's seven year history.

Steve Komphela's side are the only team left in the semis to have won this competition, with Ajax coming close in the 2009 edition, where they were hammered 6-0 by Golden Arrows.

Wits have had a stellar start to the season having swept SuperSport aside in the quarter finals and then dealt with Ajax in their opening league encounter last weekend, a result they will be hoping to repeat in the two-legged semi-finals.

The Clever Boys' experienced midfielder, Daine Klate, who has won this competition twice before with Pirates, is under no illusion that the MTN 8 is a lot easier now that three of the four so-called big clubs have been booted out, saying that every team in the last four is deserving of their place there.

"We tend to underestimate when those type of teams are not around, for you to win titles you have to come up against the difficult teams and Ajax are a difficult team for us, everybody in the semifinals deserves to be there, it doesn't mean if Sundowns and Pirates are not there it's going to be easier, it's not going to be easier, maybe it becomes more difficult."

The second leg of the semifinals will take place on the weekend of the 29 and 30 August and the winner of that game will book their place in the final and contend for the coveted R8 million prize money.