The match takes place on Saturday and is set for a 15H30 kick off, Maritzburg having beaten Royal Eagles 2-1 in the previous round, while Phunya Sele Sele defeated another KZN NFD club, Richards Bay, 3-1.
The Team of Choice have already beaten Celtic this season, at home in January, but did suffer a 0-1 reverse in the first round game in the Free State.
And while United are five places higher on the table than Celtic, Saturday’s visitors have been in good form of late with three wins from their last four matches.
Maritzburg goalkeeper coach Arthur Bartman knows a thing or two about the nature of cup football from his long and illustrious career as a shot-stopper, and therefore says that the Team of Choice must ensure they approach this game with a fresh mind-set.
“We’re looking forward to it. We beat them at home last time, 4-0, but that counts for nothing when it comes to a cup game,” Bartman said. “It’s a once-off. It’s going to be a very tough game. Playing at home, we want to make sure we don’t concede.
“I think we’ll be playing a different Bloemfontein Celtic. We hope to seal the win within the 90 minutes, but if it goes to penalties, the goalkeeper will be ready for it,” he added.
With a league game against Bidvest Wits just three days later, a victory with the avoidance of extra time and penalties would certainly be a nice bonus for United.
Looking at the overall season to date, with Maritzburg surprising many people in the league with their third-placed current standing, Bartman says it’s been a case of boxing clever, and ensuring that the players perform with passion and pride.
“Yes we are pleased with how the season has gone, but there is still a lot of work to be done. We are a small club, we don’t have as much resources as other clubs have. But so far so good. We set ourselves a target of doing better than we did last season, and I think we are on track at the moment.
“I think it’s all down to good planning with the management and technical team. And getting the right players, to play according to the coach’s tactics. So far so good, we’re still a work in progress, we’re not a big team, but we’re a team with a lot of heart,” he concluded.
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