Phunya Sele Sele are in sixth position on the table, with 23 points and they go into Friday’s match on the back of 2-1 victory over Golden Arrows.
The Team of Choice have however also managed to string some good results together – three wins in their last five matches, and they are just two points behind Celtic with 21 points, in ninth spot.
Maritzburg approach Friday night’s match on the back of a 2-1 victory over Ajax Cape Town in the Mother City.
The manner of their victory would have been a morale-booster, although as central defender Siyanda Xulu points out, it won’t help to dwell on that result for too long.
“We told ourselves we can never go back to the part of the season where we didn’t do well. Now we are in a patch where we are starting to draw games and win games, and we must keep our focus to keep that run going,” said Xulu.
“The Ajax game was perfect for us because we dominated and we were able to score goals. Before we were getting chances and not converting. We have continued to create those chances and now we seem also to be having a bit of luck up front and we’re taking our chances and we’re winning games.
“Now it’s just about us hitting the reset button and looking to the next match against Celtic.”
The 26-year-old former Rostov (Russia), Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns player knows United will be in for a testing evening against a Celtic side they lost 0-1 against in the first round.
“We’re expecting a very tough game. We’re not surprised at how well they are doing, they have a very good coach. Obviously they deserve special attention.
“We have to play our game, we’re playing at home and we must pick up the three points. We’re doing well for now and we want to continue with the momentum.
“We need to make sure we prepare well. The most important thing is to prepare ourselves as best we can. We must make sure at the end of the day capitalise on home advantage,” Xulu concluded.
In 23 previous encounters, the Team of Choice have won nine, Celtic four, with 10 draws.
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