Will Arrows point United's way

2009-02-20 00:00

TRYING to win two games in a row for the first time this season will be Maritzburg United’s priority when they take on Lamontville Golden Arrows in a Premier Soccer League fixture at Chatsworth Stadium today.

As the PSL enters its final straight, United find themselves still precariously placed in third-last position, just a point ahead of their nearest challengers, the increasingly threatening Bloemfontein Celtic.

This afternoon the PMB team are up against an Arrows side who in the first half of the season rightly considered themselves league contenders, but who have slipped in form and league position from first to ninth.

The game in Chatsworth is one of five intriguing fixtures over the weekend.

The match of the weekend at the Super Stadium this evening is between defending champions and league leaders SuperSport United and last season’s runners-up, Ajax Cape Town, who have slipped to fifth place. Tonight title challengers Orlando Pirates host on-form Free State Stars at Ellis Park.

Tomorrow AmaZulu, still in relegation danger in 12th place, meet third-placed Kaizer Chiefs at Chatsworth. In East London, Bay United need a third win over Mamelodi Sundowns this season or the Eastern Cape side will be near certainties to face the drop.

For United, Celtic’s 4-1 midweek thrashing of Moroka Swallows, who had won their five previous matches in a row, was balanced by the 6-2 rout by Wits University of the team a point above Maritzburg on the log, Thanda Royal Zulu. Those results were characteristic of an unpredictable season where goals have been banged in and very little has gone to form.

United will know that they need to concentrate on nurturing their own slowly improving form, rather than on the results of those around them. The Team of Choice are hoping for greater consistency, and to notch up a second victory to follow their impressive 2-1 away win over AmaZulu at Chatsworth last weekend.

The signs have been promising for Gordon Igesund’s men in the second half of the season.

Following a nightmare six games in 17 days against teams in the top half of the table, United have some respite now, and will be looking to capitalise on their five home matches out of eight that follow today’s away fixture.

In their 2-0 home defeat of Ajax, 3-1 home win over Celtic and last week’s victory over AmaZulu, the PMB team displayed confidence and plenty of fighting spirit. The form of wingers Fanyana Dhladhla and Tony Tsabedze, midfielder John Arwuah and defender Gary Goldstone have been instrumental in a team effort to turn United’s form around.

Arrows are dangerous opponents in any sort of form.

They possess pacy and skilful forwards in Richard Henyekane, Thokozani Mshengu and Philane Shange, who can punch holes in any defence. Defensive midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi is set to join English Premiership side Fulham at the end of the season, and is the player who makes Arrows tick.

Arrows have slipped out of the last eight after a nine-match unbeaten run at the start of the season and will be motivated to stop the slide.

Only a concerted effort from United, and repetition of their gutsy displays against Ajax, Celtic and AmaZulu, will see the PMB team get something out of yet another tough PSL encounter.

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