For the second match running, the revitalised men at Maritzburg United are chuffed that they need not worry about new suspensions, injuries or Covid-19 cases going into Wednesday’s encounter with unsettled TS Galaxy in the DStv Premiership at Harry Gwala Stadium.
They will, however, hope that this solid manpower situation helps them get an even more positive result than it did in Durban on Sunday, when they gladly accepted a goalless draw with new-look and dominant AmaZulu in the provincial derby at King’s Park.
The outcome of that coastal affair stretched United’s unbeaten run to four matches under recently-signed head coach Ernst Middendorp, and a “three-pointer” on Wednesday will help put some distance between themselves and rivals in the bottom five of the standings.
That is a big goal of the fixture.
As United defender Kwanda Mngonyama said: “It was definitely good for us to get an away point against AmaZulu, for our progress. We are moving forward. It is a short turnaround to the Galaxy game, but we are here to work, at the end of the day.
“I think everyone is ready, I think anyone can play. We are looking forward to it. Whoever is on the field must be ready to work, so that we can keep moving forward.
“We don’t know much about Galaxy as a team. They have a new coach now, but we all know how coach Owen [da Gama] plays and, obviously, it is not going to be an easy game. It is better for us to be ready and prepared for it.
What more can I say?”
Having slipped to the bottom of the 16-team standings, Galaxy are relying on the experience of Da Gama and new assistant coach Shaun Bartlett to lift them to stable ground in the near future.
The rookies have enjoyed just one win from their 11 matches in the top flight and they already possess a minus-seven goal difference, which Mxolisi Macuphu and their other front runners will hope to improve, but the team’s defence will also need to come to the party. In that department, former United skipper Bevan Fransman is one of the most experienced and oldest members for the Mpumalanga side. Attacking midfielder Justice Figuareido from Swaziland is another former United player in the Galaxy camp.
Their squad value is rated at €5,45 million, to United’s €7,05 million , according to transfermarket.co.za.
Overall, six Premiership games take place on Wednesday and their collective nature suggests there will be some log changes again at the last whistle before 7 pm.
Meanwhile, Swallows’ Brandon Truter and Ruzaigh Gamildien have been named the DStv Premiership Coach and Player of the Month for December/January respectively.
Pirates v Arrows
Leopards v CT City
SuperSport v AmaZulu
Swallows v Chippa
Stellenbosch v Baroka
Maritzburg v Galaxy
* All matches start at 5 pm.