Maritzburg United

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Published 29 November 2019

KZN DERBY BECKONS ON SUNDAY
     
   
 

All roads will lead to Umlazi on Sunday for what is expected to be a full-blooded Absa Premiership derby between Maritzburg United and AmaZulu.

     
 

 

The game is scheduled for a 3-30pm kick off at the King Zwelithini Stadium.


Both teams will be looking to bounce back from midweek defeats – the Team of Choice went down 2-0 to SuperSport United while AmaZulu were edged out 1-0 by the other Tshwane side, Mamelodi Sundowns.


The defeat to Matsatsantsa ended an eight match unbeaten streak for the Pietermaritzburg outfit.


It’s not easy to surmise Usuthu’s season - the Durban team were also beaten by Chippa United in their previous game, and lost 5-0 to Sundowns in the Telkom Knockout.


However, before losing to Chippa, they had recorded three consecutive league wins - following what had been a difficult start to the season, which had resulted in head coach Cavin Johnson being replaced by Jozef Vukusic.


The Team of Choice also battled for results earlier in the campaign, and although they are in ninth spot on the table, they are just two points above AmaZulu in 15th.

And as Maritzburg United head coach Eric Tinkler points out, league standings count for little every time the whistle blows for kick off in the super competitive Absa Premiership.

And in the heat of the derby cauldron, it will likely boil down to which set of players are most prepared to give their all for their club’s badge.


“We watched AmaZulu (earlier this week), and they made it extremely difficult for Sundowns, I think they’re playing a lot more direct now under the new coach.

“It’s going to be a tough game, we have to prepare ourselves as best we possibly can,” he said.

“All the matches are tough, you look at the league, its so compact, every game is game, a must-win game.

“You can’t go into any game thinking it’s a guaranteed three points.

“Every game you’ve got to go in with a professional mindset, [play] according to what we’ve been working on throughout the season tactically. Physically you’ve got to give everything in order to get the results.”

The Team of Choice drew the corresponding away game 0-0 with AmaZulu last season, and recorded a 2-1 home win in their most recent encounter.

In 22 previous encounters between the KwaZulu-Natal rivals, the Team of Choice have won 10 (five at home, five away), lost four and drawn eight.

There’ll certainly be a sizable Maritzburg support base in the stands in Umlazi, adding to what will likely be a memorable occasion.




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