Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The Telkom Knockout returns to the domestic agenda this weekend with the quarterfinals set to be staged‚ three of them in KwaZulu-Natal.

Baroka FC host Mamelodi Sundowns‚ Orlando Pirates travel to AmaZulu‚ Maritzburg United entertain holders Bidvest Wits and Kaizer Chiefs welcome SuperSport United.

Here are 10 talking points from the four games as the Soweto giants in particular seek some long overdue silverware.

Unbeaten: Mamelodi Sundowns have never lost to Baroka‚ with the closest the Limpopo team have come to a victory being a 2-2 draw in their maiden season in the Premiership in 2016/17.

Goal-shy: Sundowns have managed to score more than one goal in a game on only one occasion in their last 11 matches. That was a 3-3 draw with AmaZulu in mid-September. Since then they have netted four goals in five games.

On a run: Orlando Pirates are unbeaten in their last eight games in all competitions‚ their longest run without defeat in almost four years. Their last defeat was a 1-0 away loss at Bloemfontein Celtic in August.

Fortress: AmaZulu are unbeaten in their five games at home this season‚ which is why they were keen to play their Telkom Knockout quarterfinal at "fortress" King Zwelithini Stadium before it was moved to the larger Moses Mabhida Stadium. The last team to claim an away win over Usuthu were Pirates in a league game in April with a 2-1 success.

Consistent: Pirates have reached the quarterfinals of the Telkom Knockout every season for the past 10 years and won eight of their ties at this stage. Their only two defeats came on penalties to eventual winners Bloemfontein Celtic after a 3-3 draw in 2012 and another loss on penalties to Polokwane City after a 2-2 draw in 2017.

Dominant: Wits have been dominant against Maritzburg United down the years‚ losing only three of their 23 clashes in all competitions. The last time they were defeated in KwaZulu-Natal was in 2009‚ which remains their only away defeat.

Rare feat: Maritzburg United have a fairly dismal record in the Telkom Knockout‚ having only been past the quarterfinal stage once in 12 years of trying. That was in 2010 when they defeated Bloemfontein Celtic and Sundowns‚ before losing 3-0 to Pirates in the semis.

Bogey side: Chiefs will be sick of the sight of SuperSport, having already been knocked out of the MTN8 by them this season. Chiefs have not won any of their last eight games against United and were also dumped out of the Nedbank Cup.

No home advantage: The last 20 meetings between Chiefs and SuperSport at the home ground of the Amakhosi have resulted in 10 wins for Matsatsantsa and just seven for Chiefs‚ with three matches drawn. In fact‚ SuperSport have a better away record against Chiefs than at home.

Long wait: SuperSport and Chiefs have met a lot in cup matches over the past few years‚ but you have to go back to 2007 for their last clash in the Telkom Knockout‚ which ended in a 1-0 Chiefs success. Chiefs also won the final in Bloemfontein in 2004‚ and their only other clash in this competition was 22 years ago in 1996 when SuperSport triumphed 2-1.