Maritzburg United Preview

2011-08-13 00:00

THE wait for Maritzburg United fans is finally over and PSL football will return to the city tomorrow when Ian Palmer’s Team of Choice take on formidable opposition in the form of Bidvest Wits at Harry Gwala stadium.

Wits finished last season in a strong sixth position and will be looking to improve on that this time out by breaking into the league’s top four, but Palmer has said that he and his squad are confident ahead of tomorrow’s match.

“The mood in the camp is absolutely fantastic and we know that we have a very capable group of players,” the coach said after a video analysis session he had with the squad yesterday.

“It is our home game and we will be going out there to attack and come away with three points.”

Palmer views Wits’ ability to counter- attack as a major threat.

“They are a strong side and they are very good when it comes to using their wings,” he said. “But they certainly have their weaknesses and we will be looking to exploit some of those in their defence.”

United play Wits tomorrow and then travel to Cape Town to take on Ajax on Wednesday, and Palmer has emphasized the importance of getting off to a good start.

“It is very important that we start the season well and that we move into our away games with good continuity,” he said.

United will be without elusive midfielder Kurt Lentjies, who is recovering from a toe injury that he picked up earlier in the week.

Lentjies is expected to miss the trip to Cape Town as well, but Palmer is not overly concerned.

“It’s certainly not nice because Kurt is a fantastic player and a great asset to our side,” he said. “But we have three or four capable players who can fit into his position and we are blessed in that sense.”

Diyo Sibisi is expected to start up front for United after recovering well from a motor vehicle accident earlier in the week, while club captain Fadlu Davids is expected to play off the bench.

Palmer said he is expecting a big home crowd tomorrow and acknowledged that his side will need to produce good results to keep the crowds coming to Harry Gwala.

“It is very important to us to play in front of a big home crowd, especially for the newer players.

“We have had good performances in pre-season and at the end of last season and I think that the fans will be persuaded to come and watch us.”

First choice goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters is another player Palmer will be without. The Bafana Bafana goalkeeper will be serving a suspension after reaching his yellow card limit in last season’s final game against Ajax.

Tashrique Goldman will replace him.

Tomorrow’s match kicks off at 3 pm and will be televised on SABC 1.

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