United’s big clash

2013-09-13 00:00

The Team of Choice make the trip north to take on Kaizer Chiefs in a game where both sides want a win, having claimed just four points in their first three PSL games.

THE clash will be an opportunity for the Team of Choice to get their season back on track following a winless streak of two games.

Champions Chiefs were beaten 3-1 by early pace setters SuperSport United, and like Ernst Middendorp’s boys, find themselves sitting on just four points after the first three games of the season and in ninth spot, one above United.

Should United walk away from the hallowed turf of the FNB Stadium with all three points, it will give them even more belief in their quest for that elusive top-eight league finish. Lose, and they may be dragged into an uncomfortable scrap near the bottom of the table.

Anything but a win for the Glamour Boys will spell disaster for the reigning PSL champions.

Shu-Aib Walters.

PHOTO: gallo images

Ithumeleng Khune.

PHOTO: gallo images

Mario Booysen.

PHOTO: gallo images

Morgan Gould.

PHOTO: gallo images

Ryan de Jongh.

PHOTO: gallo images

Willard Katsande.

PHOTO: gallo images

Shu-Aib Walters vs Ithumeleng Khune

WALTERS and Khune are two of the best goalkeepers in the country. They were both part of Bafana Bafana’s 2010 World Cup campaign, and boast tons of experience.

But, with Khune having been upstaged by young pretender Ronwen Williams of SuperSport last week, he’ll want to make a point against his former international team-mate.

It will not be an easy task against United’s number one, who has conceded just two goals in the league this season, half the times that the Chiefs and Bafana captain has had to pick up the ball from the back of his net.

Walters will have to be on top form to thwart Chiefs’ tried and tested strike duo of Bernard Parker and Knowledge Musona, while Khune’s task will also not be much easier against Ghanaian Mohammed Yakubu, who is playing in his first season in the PSL.

Mario Booysen vs Morgan Gould

BOTH players were giants for their clubs last season and continue to be the mainstay this season.

However, Bafana Bafana defender Gould was at the heart of defence when Chiefs failed to reclaim the glory two weeks ago. Gould was outpaced by Thuso Phala, whose shot was blocked by Khune into the path of Bennett Chenene.

Although a tower of strength for Chiefs last season, Gould tends to get let down by his pace, and this could be exploited by Middendorp. The Team of Choice’s Booysen could be without Mohammed Awal, his regular partner in defence with the Ghanaian international having returned late from Black Stars duty and missing out on the club’s training game early in the week.

He will have to be on form to nullify the threat of Chiefs’ dangermen in Musona and Parker.

Ryan de Jongh vs Willard Katsande

RYAN de Jongh has started all of United’s games this season in the heart of midfield alongside hard-tackling skipper Michael Morton.

He has looked good, with his silky touches creating chances for the front two of Mohammed Yakubu and Zimbabwean Terrance Mandaza.

But, he will come up against a kind of player he has not faced this season in Willard Katsande.

The former Ajax Cape Town defensive midfielder’s form last season attracted the interest of Bundesliga side Hamburg, and will look to thwart De Jongh pulling the strings in the middle of the park for United.

If De Jongh can force his influence, United could walk away from the game with the three points, which should give them confidence ahead of the home game against Mpumalanga Black Aces.

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