Maritzburg in place to overtake log leaders

2011-10-14 00:00

MARITZBURG United travel to Pretoria tonight to take on a rejuvenated SuperSport United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.

Both teams are undefeated in the PSL so far this season, with Maritzburg just two points behind table-topping SuperSport in third place. A win tonight is likely to see Maritzburg move to the top of the table provided Ajax do not demolish Jomo Cosmos in the evening’s other match.

United’s strengths this season have been at the back, where a solid defensive partnership between Mor Diouf and Byrone Hendricks has given the Team of Choice a firm foundation in most of their matches. The form of goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters has also been promising for coach Ian Palmer over the last few weeks and the Bafana Bafana 2010 World Cup squad member is beginning to see the rewards of working tirelessly at his distribution during training.

Rheece Evans has been solid on the left of defence for United and is expected to regain his place tonight. Peter Petersen has used the two-week PSL break to recover from injury, which means that Palmer’s defence is likely to select itself tonight.

It is in going forward that Palmer is likely to have selection problems. His side have not been ruthless enough in front of goal this season and have, for the most part, relied on the services of Diyo Sibisi as a lone striker. Sibisi started the season well, scoring three goals in his first four appearances. He has struggled more recently though, and with the return to fitness of club captain Fadlu Davids, Palmer has the option to start the pair of them together for only the second time this season. The arrival at the club of Nigerian striker Jacob Abobade means that Sibisi is no longer guaranteed a start. Adobade is unlikely to be used.

In midfield Palmer has numerous options. He has turned to Chillies Madondo as his holding midfielder so far this season. If Palmer plays five midfielders, as he is expected to do, he might be tempted to employ two holders and start Michael Morton alongside Madondo with Kurt Lentjies in front of the pair in a more attacking role.

The match kicks off at 8 pm and will not be televised.

• sport@witness.co.za

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