Maritzburg, Arrows set for opening weekend derby

Maritzburg, Arrows set for opening weekend derby
Mohau Mokate of Maritzburg United during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Maritzburg United at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg on 28 April 2018 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Aug 03, 2018. 12:11

The opening weekend of the new Absa Premiership season will feature a KwaZulu-Natal derby between Maritzburg United and Golden Arrows at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday, 5 August 2018, kick-off at 15h00.

Maritzburg enjoyed a fine campaign in 2017/18 and came home in fourth place on the top-flight log, racking up 44 points from their 30 matches. Coach Fadlu Davids was deservedly praised for his work last term, but will need to prove it was no fluke.

The Team of Choice’s home form saw them pick up 24 points from 15 matches, as they recorded six wins, six draws and three losses as hosts through the 2017/18 season.

Maritzburg’s work in the transfer market has included the signings of Nazeer Allie, Denwin Farmer and Keagan Buchanan, while the likes of Bevan Fransman and Sheldon Van Wyk have departed the club.

Arrows just managed to sneak into the top half of the Absa Premiership table last term, with their haul of 38 points from 30 matches putting them in eighth place. Coach Clinton Larsen will be targeting another top-eight finish in the new campaign.

Abafana Bes’thende’s away form saw them pick up 16 points from 15 matches, as they recoded three wins, seven draws and five defeats as visitors through the 2017/18 season.

Arrows’ work in the transfer market has seen them lose the likes of Lehlohonolo Nonyane, Jabulani Shongwe and Kudakwashe Mahachi.

In head-to-head stats, Arrows and Maritzburg have met in 22 league matches since 2005/06. Abafana Bes’thende have claimed 10 wins compared to five for the Team of Choice, while seven matches have been drawn. The Pietermaritzburg side has claimed four wins and suffered three defeats from 11 home matches in the rivalry.

The teams cancelled each other out last season, playing to a goalless stalemate in Durban and a 1-1 draw in the return game in Pietermaritzburg on the final day of the league campaign. In fact, four of the last five matches between these KwaZulu-Natal rivals have finished level.

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