Maritzburg United desperate for a three-pointer against Chiefs in PE

2011-11-01 00:00

MARITZBURG United “host” Kaizer Chiefs tonight at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth desperate for a victory that will see them gain three valuable PSL points.

The match is the first of three this season that United have agreed to take away from Harry Gwala Stadium to Nelson Mandela Bay.

The financial gain from the deal is sure to benefit the club, but how Ian Palmer’s men will react to playing in front of a crowd that will be made up of predominantly Chiefs supporters is questionable.

United started the season in fine form, collecting 13 points from their first seven league fixtures without being defeated.

They have lost their last two league fixtures — a 7-0 thrashing at the hands of SuperSport United and a 2-1 loss to Santos on Friday night.

United have already proved that they can beat the best teams in the country by ousting Orlando Pirates 2-1 at home this season, but their recent dip in form has seen them drop to eighth place on the table.

If United are to emerge victorious tonight they will need to be at their best against a Chiefs outfit that will be looking for their third straight win of the campaign.

Chiefs are in second position on the log, six points ahead of United.

The Team of Choice back four — Byrone Hendricks, Mor Diouf, Peter Petersen and Rheece Evans — will have to improve on their form in the last two fixtures. Palmer has suggested he will keep faith in his defensive line and they will certainly all be under constant pressure tonight.

United will also expect more from playmaker Kurt Lentjies, who has shown flashes of his immense ability inconsistently throughout what has been an injury-ridden season so far.

With Lentjies now fit, and the wide presence of Felix Obada always a danger for opposing teams, United will know that they can create chances tonight.

Whether they can convert those chances, though, remains to be seen. Diyo Sibisi returned to the score sheet against Santos and is as hungry as ever to score goals.

It will take a massive effort from United if they are to walk away with anything from the match.

These are tough times for the club and the top-half finish they are aiming for seems more and more difficult to achieve.

The rule is simple — if you don’t concede then you can’t lose.

Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done against the Amakhosi.

Kick-off is at 7.30 pm and the match will be televised on SuperSport Four.

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