Maritzburg welcome another Soweto giant

Maritzburg welcome another Soweto giant
Siphiwe Tshabalala of Kaizer Chiefs challenged by Siphesihle Ndlovu of Maritzburg United during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Maritzburg United and Kaizer Chiefs at Harry Gwala Stadium, Johannesburg South Africa on 11 February 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Sep 19, 2017. 14:30

Maritzburg United will face a second Soweto giant in the space of five days when they host Kaizer Chiefs for an Absa Premiership match at Harry Gwala Stadium on 20 September 2017, kick-off at 19h30.

United retained their unbeaten start to the league season with a goalless draw at home to Orlando Pirates on September 15. The KwaZulu-Natal side have conceded just once in five matches and a haul of eight points thus far represents a fine start.

Coach Fadlu Davids will hope to see his side regain the form which saw then claim back-to-back 2-0 wins over Platinum Stars and Ajax Cape Town at the start of the season, though he will know that Kaizer Chiefs pose a significant challenge to his ambitions.

Chiefs were unable to capitalise on their win over in-form Cape Town City last midweek, as they were held to a 1-1 home draw by Bidvest Wits on September 16. The Soweto side conceded a late equaliser to opponents which had been reduced to just 10 men.

Nonetheless, coach Steve Komphela has seen his side pick up a respectable four points from two away matches and he will hope for another positive result on the road, especially against a club he used to work for.

In head-to-head stats, Maritzburg and Chiefs have met in 22 league matches since 2005/06. The Amakhosi have claimed 10 wins compared to five for the Team of Choice, while seven matches have been drawn. The KwaZulu-Natal side has claimed three wins (and suffered three defeats) in their 11 turns as hosts in this rivalry.

When the teams met last season, Chiefs claimed a league ‘double’ by winning 2-0 in Soweto and 2-1 in the return game in Pietermaritzburg. The Amakhosi are unbeaten in their last four league matches against United and have won the last three in succession.

Maritzburg’s line-up from their 0-0 draw with Pirates on September 15: Ofori, Sanoka, Xulu, Fransman, Weidlich, Shandu, Mekoa (Mokate 94'), Ndlovu, Maboe (De Deuck 94'), Kunene (Makaringe 56'), Rusike.

Chiefs’ line-up from their 1-1 draw with Wits on September 16: Khune, Moleko, Gordinho, Cardoso, Zulu, Katsande, Maluleka (Buchanan 67’), Jayiya, Meyiwa, Tshabalala (Twala 78’), Paez (Parker 72’).

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