The Team of Choice will host the Soweto giants in an Absa Premiership match at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday night (19H30 kick off).
Chiefs made a somewhat sluggish start to the season, but a recent win over Cape Town City seems to have restored confidence and Steve Komphela’s side were denied maximum points against Bidvest Wits on Saturday evening only due to an added time equaliser.
As such, coach Fadlu feels his side are meeting an Amakhosi team who are just starting to find some rhythm, and will be prepared for a tough battle.
“They are back, they are a fantastic side. I think they are back to their best. They didn’t get the results in the first few games, but I think they’ll come into Wednesday’s game with confidence,” he said.
The Team of Choice head into the match on the back of a 0-0 draw with Orlando Pirates at the Harry Gwala Stadium last Saturday, and one of several positives from that game for coach Fadlu was the performance of Maritzburg’s Ghanaian keeper, Richard Ofori, pictured above.
“He gives us a push to the next level, what it means with his performance, with his big match temperament. We knew we had to wait for him to get used to South African game, the intense pace that we play. Now we see the real quality.
“Teams are targeting longer balls, we have seen it against AmaZulu, we saw it against Pirates, not really their style, but they threw some losing balls in, trying to target us on the blind side, but now they can put these balls in, we’ve got it covered.”
United will however go into the match without their teenage midfield sensation Siphesihle Ndlovu, after he was sent off against Bucs.
“It’s a huge blow, we will miss him, but we have options coming through and we’ll be okay,” said Fadlu.
Maritzburg have had some fantastic battles with Chiefs over the years, although the Amakhosi have generally gotten the better of United – in 23 previous matches, the KZN side have won four, Chiefs 13, with six draws.
The last time the Team of Choice beat the Soweto side was in March of 2015, when Kumbulani Banda’s late strike at the Harry Gwala Stadium ensured a 1-0 victory.
Last season saw Chiefs winning 2-0 at home and 2-1 in Pietermaritzburg in the league, with Amakhosi also edging United on penalties in a Telkom Knockout game at the FNB Stadium.
This match is a ticket-only encounter. The full list of official ticket outlets are:
• All Shoprite Checkers outlets
• Maritzburg United Offices 397 Victoria Road
• SuperSave Supermarket Retief Street
• OK Minimark College Road
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