Daunting task for AmaZulu’s men

2014-08-20 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL’S two PSL clubs are both in Gauteng tonight where they will play against title-contending sides.

The task for AmaZulu is perhaps a little more daunting as they take on a resurgent Orlando Pirates.

Pirates made a slow start to the season with a draw and a loss in their first two league fixtures, but they hit their stride on the weekend when a strong second-half performance saw them knock over Wits 2-0 in the semi-finals of the MTN8.

It is an ominous sign for coach Craig Rosslee’s men, but the encouragement so far this season is that they have been creating chances regularly, despite only finding the back of the net once.

“We didn’t get the start that we wanted, but it’s still early days and there’s a long way to go as far as the season is concerned,” experienced left-back Marc van Heerden told Usuthu’s website.

“We have been playing good football. I can even say we’ve been among the top teams in the league so far when it comes to creating chances, but we haven’t managed to bury them.

“It’s something that we need to change because we need the points and the confidence will definitely shoot up once we start converting our chances.”

Maritzburg United, flying high after a win and a draw so far this season, travel to Wits University where they meet a Gavin Hunt side that have been widely tipped to challenge for league honours this season.

It is a match that promises much after United’s bright start to the campaign and their explosive 2-1 win over Polokwane City at Harry Gwala last week. United are playing free-flowing football under Steve Komphela, hitting sides quickly on the counter-

attack with pace out wide aplenty. Playing an attractive brand of football has been made a priority by the Midlands club this season, and they are unlikely to go to Wits with a defensive mind-set as they look to gather points in the infant stages.

The big news for the Team of Choice is that all of their foreign players now have work permits. This means that there could be a debut for former Premier League star John Paintsil. Able to play on the left, but likely to feature in the centre of defence, Paintsil will threaten fellow countryman Mohammed Awal for a place in the starting line-up.

Terrance Mandaza and new signing Mike Mohammed now also come into contention to spearhead United’s attack, while highly rated Zimbabwean Khumbulani Banda could come in for local youngster Thabang Matuka at left back.

The worry is that with the foreigners having had to miss out on a large portion of pre-season training, they might not be ready to walk into a match day 11. That will leave Komphela with some decisions to make, but he has got most of them right in the early part of the season.

Both matches kick off at 7.30 pm, with the Usuthu match televised on SuperSport Four.

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