Preview: Orlando Pirates v Maritzburg United
7 April 2017
The Team of Choice face a potentially resurgent Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium in a league encounter on Tuesday night.
While Maritzburg were not in action last weekend, Pirates played in the Nedbank Cup and beat Free State Stars 4-1. The Soweto side are however on a 12 game winless streak in the Absa Premiership.
The Team of Choice’s most recent league action however ended in victory, a 2-1 home win over Ajax, and they will be looking to build momentum with another positive result against the Buccaneers.
Maritzburg are eighth on the standings with 26 points, while the Buccaneers are 12th with 23 points this season.
The first round encounter between the two sides in PMB ended in a 2-1 victory for United thanks to goals from Bevan Fransman and Brian Onyango.
Maritzburg’s last trip to Orlando resulted in a 0-0 draw. Overall, the clubs have met 22 times, with Maritzburg winning six and Pirates 12 and four draws.
The match will be a second in charge for stand-in coach Fadlu Davids since taking over from Roger De Sa. Together with an earlier stint in charge this season, Davids has enjoyed an excellent record.
He however was quick to deflect the credit.
"I'm not solo I'm with a good tactical team behind me and they're really helping me and the support staff," Davids told reporters after the Ajax win.
"We've got the management and the tactical team, we've got goalkeeper coach Arthur Bartman and assistant coach Mahier [Davids], fitness coach Gerhard van de Merwe, kit manager Zolile Luthuli. The support is there so it's not about me, but it's a fantastic team effort.”
Davids was unhappy at conceding a goal to Ajax and will be looking for better focus from his men against the Sea Robbers.
"I'm a bit angry about the three minutes of madness where we conceded the goal that we shouldn't have conceded,” he said. "These are things that we have to sort out in terms of being really concentrated for 90 minutes. Passion is one thing, but really being concentrated on the tactical plan is key.”
Maritzburg defender Kwanda Mngonyama is suspended for the game.