The Team of Choice take on the Glamour Boys in an Absa Premiership encounter at the FNB Stadium in Soweto on Saturday evening, 6pm kick off.
United head into the match on the back of a 2-1 victory over AmaZulu in their most recent outing, and have won two of their last three league games.
The morale in the camp is therefore good. However, Chiefs will offer an altogether different type of challenge, and it will important that the Maritzburg players remain level headed.
“Obviously after the [AmaZulu] win, the mood is where it needs to be. Knowing that you’re playing Kaizer Chiefs, the motivation is there,” coach Eric said.
“It’s a case of going out there and making sure that we play with no fear. Very important. Also maturity is key at this stage of the league. You’ve got to make the right choices, the right decisions in the right moments. We’re going there for the three points, because that is what we are desperately in need of.”
TACTICAL BATTLE AGAINST FORMER TEAM OF CHOICE COACH ERNST MIDDENDORP
Former Maritzburg players Philani Zulu, Ryan Moon, Virgil Vries and Mario Booysen are all part of the Amakhosi setup, as is of course previous Team of Choice tactician Ernst Middendorp.
“That’s the conundrum to be honest,” coach Eric remarked. “Ernst knows our formation quite well, how the team plays. Although I have brought my own element to it - with a slight difference I think.
“We need to continue believing in the structure and the formation. Tactically every game is different. Roles and responsibilities change. You see where the weaknesses are in the opposition and you look to try and exploit that with structural changes in terms of the formation.
“Hopefully we will be able to catch Middendorp a little bit by surprise. The same way he knows what I do, we know what he does, because he was the one who started the 3-5-2 here, and that’s what he’s been trying to do at Chiefs. He also loves playing the 4-4-2 diamond, so we have to expect any of those things.”
Defender Brian Onyango is expected to miss the game through injury, while Rushine De Reuck serves the second match of a two game suspension.
HEAD TO HEAD
- The first round game at the Harry Gwala Stadium earlier this season ended 0-0.
- The last time Maritzburg beat Chiefs was a 1-0 home win on March 2015.
- In 26 games, Chiefs have won 15, United 4, and there have been 7 draws
- In recent form, Maritzburg have taken 6 points of the last available 15, while Amakhosi have picked up 8.