Hunting a repeat

2017-12-13 10:27
Maritzburg United attackers Lebohang Maboe (left) and Deolin Mekoa will look to help their team upset star-studded Mamelodi Sundowns in the Absa Premiership in Pretoria tonight.

Maritzburg United attackers Lebohang Maboe (left) and Deolin Mekoa will look to help their team upset star-studded Mamelodi Sundowns in the Absa Premiership in Pretoria tonight. (Gallo Images)

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Maritzburg United head coach Fadlu Davids hopes his side will carry their recent form into tonight’s tough Absa Premiership showdown against Mamelodi Sundowns in Pretoria.

The Team of Choice travel to Loftus Versfeld for a match that could provide fans with a scintillating display of attacking football, based on the form both teams have shown recently.

Former African champions Sundowns are currently on a five-match unbeaten run in the league and have enjoyed some big victories, notably beating defending Premiership champions Bidvest Wits 2-0, Soweto giants Orlando Pirates 3-1 and former log leaders Baroka FC 4-0.

They will be aiming to collect another three points as they attempt to pull clear of the second-placed Buccaneers and the other Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs at the top of the table.

However, Maritzburg will not be a walk in the park as they head to Gauteng on the back of successive victories over Cape Town City and Baroka over the past week.

Said Davids: “We have two tough games against Sundowns and Arrows coming up. Hopefully, we will end the year well.

“Right now‚ the main thing is to focus on the next match against Sundowns‚ who are by far the best team in the league.

“I think the league is theirs already because nobody looks able to catch them. SuperSport United are the other team with games in hand, but Sundowns are the best in the league and in Africa and we must prepare very well for them.

“Yes, they went through a three-game run of losses at some stage, but all the teams in the PSL have gone through a bad patch — some five games or six in a row.”

The Midlands outfit also go into the meeting with high hopes of seeing a repeat of what transpired when the two sides met in the MTN8 earlier this season, when the Tshwane side crashed out of the competition, courtesy of a solo goal from United striker Evans Rusike.

In spite of all that, Davids opted to play his cards close to his chest with regards to possible tactics this evening.

In head-to-head statistics, Sundowns hold the upper hand.

Sundowns have registered 14 wins against Maritzburg’s five wins with five ties ending in draws in 24 previous meetings between the sides since the 2006/07 campaign.

In the other game on Wednesday, Free State Stars will be out to redeem themselves in their backyard when inconsistent SuperSport United come to visit.

Ea Lla Koto are coming off a heavy 3-0 defeat to Bloemfontein Celtic on the weekend, while Eric Tinkler’s charges from Pretoria will also be looking to return to winning ways after dropping points in their last two encounters. Both fixtures kick off at 7.30 pm

Meanwhile, Maritzburg remain in the hunt for attacking reinforcements as the January transfer window draws nearer, with recent media reports suggesting that the Midlands club are keeping close tabs on midfielder Keagan Buchanan’s situation at Ama­khosi.

The 25-year-old attacker has struggled with game-time since joining the Naturena outfit at the start of the 2016/17 season, making just 10 appearances to date.

Devon Saal, who recently had a fall-out with Davids, is said to have left the Maritzburg camp and has been spotted at National First Division side Stellenbosch FC.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  maritzburg united

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