Preview: Polokwane v Maritzburg United
7 February 2017
Roger De Sa takes charge of the Team of Choice for his first league encounter – away to Polokwane City on Wednesday evening.
A solid end to 2016 – two wins and three draws, saw Maritzburg going into the break in eighth position on the table with 19 points from 15 matches.
Polokwane meanwhile have enjoyed a successful campaign and are in fifth spot, with 21 points from their 15 games. Heading into the break, Rise and Shine lost against Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United, but won two and drew one game before that.
Polokwane City won 1-0 in the first round encounter in Pietermaritzburg thanks to Sipho Jembula’s 67th minute goal.
Historically, there is almost nothing to separate the sides – in 12 games there have been five wins each and two draws.
The Team of Choice have however only beaten Rise and Shine away from home on one occasion, a 2-1 victory in 2009, courtesy of goals from Fanyana Mokoena and John Arwuah.
With six league goals, Rodney Ramagalela is Polokwane’s main danger-man, although the likes of Thobani Mncwango, Jembula and Puleng Tlolane are also potential threats.
United’s top goal-scorer and captain Kurt Lentjies will miss this game through suspension.
The game takes place at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium, 19H30 kick off.
"We've played a couple of matches already and we played a very tough friendly match against Thanda," he told Kick Off. "We traveled all the way there to give us a little bit of the feeling of the travel as well, to play an away game.
"We tried to go with a full strength [team] and face it as professionally as we could and that went pretty well and I think we are pretty ready.
"I think Polokwane is going to be a tough one and I know they beat us in the first round here at home so going there and trying to turn the score around is going to be a little bit of a task.
"They're doing very well and they're sitting in the top six and are a lot more organized then last year and [it will be] a difficult game for us, but nevertheless we just going to get over that, face one game at the time and see how this one goes."