The Absa Premiership match kicks off at 15H30 and is set up to be a real cracker as United look to end the year on a high and reach their target of 20 points by Christmas, while Chiefs – under former Maritzburg coach Ernst Middendorp - will be keen to take another small step towards claiming the league title.
The Glamour Boys’ camp will also need no reminding of their defeat to Maritzburg in the semi-finals of the Telkom Knockout (TKO), just under a month ago.
Possible thoughts of revenge aside, the Soweto team look dead-serious about winning the title and have blazed their way to a nine point lead over second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns, as the standings showed ahead of the weekend’s action.
With their big men up front allied by some skilful ball players, Amakhosi have proven themselves to be a multi-pronged threat this season.
“Chiefs have had a lot of good results in the league,” commented Team of Choice head coach Eric Tinkler.
“Some of them haven’t been pretty games, but the fact of the matter is that they have been scoring.
“I think they’ve scored nine goals recently from set pieces. So obviously that’s an area which has become a massive strength for them.
“We know we beat them in the Telkom, that we are capable of beating them,” he continued. “But what you’re going to get is a very different team, a team that knows that we beat them, and a team doing very well in the league.
“They’re going to come hungrier due to the fact that they lost to us and because they want to continue their run in the league. So we’ll have to work even harder than we did last time against them.”
While Chiefs will be respected, Maritzburg have ambitions of their own and will no doubt be fired up in front of the Blue Army to underline their recent upswing in form with a good result in the KwaZulu-Natal capital on Sunday.
For coach Eric, there were several positives to take from last weekend’s Telkom Knockout final defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns.
“I thought we played well against Sundowns in the first half, so that will be our approach. I thought we were extremely well-structured defensively, we didn’t give them any real space to play,” he explained.
“And then our transition football was very good. That should remain consistent throughout the season, irrespective of who you play.
“Then there’s the factor of playing at home - at home I never look to play for draws.”
Team of Choice striker Judas Moseamedi has attracted interest in the build-up to Sunday, as it was his brace which knocked Chiefs out of the cup last month.
“I will play the same way as I played against them as in the semi-final,” Moseamedi stated. “Just hoping that I’ll start, and that I can do the same again.
“It’s a good thing when people praise you, it helps you to grow as a person. You just need to be grounded, and then you make sure you build on your performances,” he added.
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