United ready for Pirates

2011-08-23 13:03

Maritzburg United goalkeeper Shu-aib Walters said they would not show any respect for Orlando Pirates in their potentially explosive Premiership encounter at Harry Gwala Stadium, also known as “the graveyard” tomorrow evening.

The fixture is characterised by ongoing niggling between the two sides dating back to last season when United were refused home advantage at their refurbished stadium in a semifinal cup fixture after the venue was deemed a security risk.

Maritzburg lost the match and felt cheated not to have played in the 22 000-seater stadium where visiting teams have a tendency to struggle.
“I think that problem might be forgotten slightly after we held Ajax Cape Town to a draw in the final game last season which led to Pirates winning the league,” said Walters.

“But we will treat Pirates like any other team we face when they come to the Harry Gwala which is a graveyard for most of the teams.

“Though, we are aware that they have strengthened their squad considerably this season because they will also be in the Caf Champions League.”

United drew against Bidvest Wits and Ajax Cape Town in their first two matches and, while they are creating chances, converting them is still a struggle.

Walters said they could not afford to miss opportunities against the Buccaneers and the team also had to improve on defending from set pieces which had caused problems for them this season.

“We have shown since last season that we are able to create chances even though we are still a work in progress in converting them,” he said.

“Black Leopards, Platinum Stars and Mamelodi Sundowns created chances against Pirates but if you don’t score against a team like them, who seldom give away opportunities, then you won’t get results.

“We are also working on our defending because all three goals that we have conceded this season have come from set pieces.”

Meanwhile, Pirates will be travelling without winger Daine Klate who had to be substituted in the side’s 3-2 MTN8 first leg semifinal win over Sundowns on the weekend because of an ankle injury.

Klate will most likely miss the return leg against the Brazilians on Sunday, according to the club’s physiotherapist John Williams.

“Daine’s ankle is badly swollen and cannot be involved in any physical activity for at least a week from now, during which time he will be getting daily treatment,” Williams explained on the club’s web site.

In his absence, Sameegh Doutie and the seasoned Dikgang Mabalane are expected to be part of the 18-man squad.

The match kicks off at 8pm.

Other fixtures tomorrow see Kaizer Chiefs host Bidvest Wits at FNB Stadium, Mamelodi Sundowns clash with Moroka Swallows at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville and Platinum Stars face early season pacesetters Bloemfontein Celtic at Moruleng Stadium.

AmaZulu take on SuperSport United at Moses Mabhida Stadium while struggling Santos clash with Ajax Cape Town in the Cape derby set for Athlone Stadium.

All matches kick off at 7.30pm.

In the afternoon, Free State Stars line up against Jomo Cosmos at Goble Park in Bethlehem at 3pm.

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