Maritzburg welcome bottom-of-the-log Wits

Maritzburg welcome bottom-of-the-log Wits
Buhle Mkhwanazi of Bidvest Wits during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns at Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg on 21 November 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Nov 24, 2017. 07:05

Maritzburg United will welcome the Absa Premiership’s bottom-of-the-log team – and defending champions – Bidvest Wits to Harry Gwala Stadium on 25 November 2017, kick-off at 15h30.

Maritzburg have gone seven league matches without a win after they were held 0-0 at Polokwane City on November 22. The KwaZulu-Natal side last claimed a three-pointer back in August when they defeated Ajax Cape Town 2-0 at home.

The Team of Choice has been unconvincing at home so far this season, with just four points taken from a possible 12. Their last game as hosts ended in a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Free State Stars in late September.

Wits’ defence of their league title continues to be a huge struggle, with the Johannesburg side suffering a third loss from their last four league matches (and a sixth from 10 league matches overall) when they were beaten 2-0 at home by Mamelodi Sundowns on November 21. The result dropped them to last place on the log.

The Clever Boys can at least take some comfort from having performed better away from home this season, as they head into this trip to Pietermaritzburg with a record of one win, two draws and two losses from five games on the road.

In head-to-head stats, Maritzburg and Wits have met in 20 league matches since 2006/07. The Clever Boys have claimed 10 wins compared to just three for the Team of Choice, while seven matches have been drawn. The KwaZulu-Natal team has claimed one win and suffered four defeats from their 10 home league matches against the Johannesburg side.

Last season Wits took four points off United, drawing 1-1 in Pietermaritzburg in the first half of the campaign, before claiming a 1-0 home win in the return game. The Clever Boys are unbeaten in their last six league matches against Maritzburg.

Maritzburg’s line-up from their 0-0 draw with Polokwane on November 22: Ofori, Sanoka, Xulu, Fransman, Makaringe, Rusike (Ntshangase 85'), Weidlich, Kunene (Shandu 90'), Maboe, Ndlovu, Mekoa.

Wits’ line-up from their 2-0 loss to Sundowns on November 21: Keet, Ntshangase, Mkhwanazi, Hlanti, Frosler, Tlhone (Keene 65'), Mlambo, Monare, Pelembe (Pule 69'), Klate, Gamal.

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